Viewpoint: Why investing in women and girls will take off in 2019
Friday, March 8, 2019
By Bart Edés
I recently attended a meeting of investors, asset managers, foundations, family offices, and social entrepreneurs organised in New York by the Financial Times to explore “gender lens investing,” that is, investing in women and girls to boost overall development impact alongside a financial return. The discussions focused on this new niche as the next big thing in impact investing.
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that empowering women is critical to boosting global prosperity. For example, new research published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review suggests that if women were to attain equal participation in the economy, they could raise global GDP by up to $28 trillion or 26 per cent in 2025.
McKinsey and Co. estimates that advancing women’s equality in Asia-Pacific countries would raise their annual collective GDP by $4.5 trillion in 2025, a 12 per cent increase over the business-as-usual trajectory. Investing in women yields multiple benefits for corporations, according to an International Finance Corporation (IFC) study.
Photo courtesy of Chhor Sokunthea.