Margaret Cupples Talks Gender Lens Investing

April 29, 2022 - Uncategorized - Posted by

When asked how to create a more equitable world, many people would suggest volunteering or attending advocacy events as a way to inspire positive change. And while these are great ways to promote equity, there is another effective way to do so: gender lens investing. 

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) defines Gender Lens Investing as “investing with the intent to address gender issues or promote gender equity”. This includes investing in businesses that are owned or led by women, that support workplace equity (through diverse staffing, management, boardroom representation, etc.), or that offer products, services, or resources that greatly improve the lives of women and girls. 

And while this is a great starting point for getting into gender lens investing, it’s important to keep in mind that even investing time, support, or care to women-focused organizations and movements count as participating in gender lens investing. 

We spoke with our Board Chair, Margaret Cupples about gender lens investing, how it can create a better, more equitable world and how everyone benefits from supporting women. 

The Benefits of GLI

Gender lens investing focuses on investing in women–the benefits of which have been well-documented, as Cupples explains: 

“There are so many studies that demonstrate that there is huge economic value to society from investing in women and girls,” Cupples said. “For example, closing the pay gap between women and men would add more than $500 billion to the economy—even based on numbers from several years ago.”

In addition to boosting the economy, Cupples shared research stating that women in senior leadership positions generate higher return on investment (ROI) and perform better overall

Also, women with more years of education are more likely to get better jobs, have healthier families, and well-educated children. Women are also more likely to re-invest their resources into their families and communities, resulting in more opportunities for everyone. 

So Many Ways to Invest

So, how does someone start investing in women? When it comes to gender lens investing, you have options. As mentioned earlier, you can invest capital–by starting a gender lens fund or by purchasing stock from women-led businesses–but you can also invest your time, care, and support for the women and girls in your life. Anything that supports the growth, economic security, and wellbeing of women counts! 

“…Investing in women can mean dollars,” Cupples said, “But it also can mean being a mentor, pushing your company to hire more women, or just taking dinner to a new mom or a colleague who is feeling overwhelmed. All of them have value.”

Women’s Foundation and GLI

Good news: if you’re supporting the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi (WFM), then you’re already participating in gender lens investing! Your support ensures that the Women’s Foundation is able to invest grants into programs across the state that help women complete their education, further their careers, and improve their quality of life. 

“The Women’s Foundation provides big things and small things,”said Cupples. “We provide millions of dollars of grants to organizations across the state that work in healthcare, education, and career development; education and training about policy and how to make systemic change; even a website that teens can go to for factual information about pregnancy prevention. The website has plenty of details including an amazing report on the emergency grants we made during the pandemic. Through the grantmaking process, the Foundation also helps organizations build capacity and collaborate.”

More Ways to Show Your Support

Here are more ways you can start or continue participating in gender lens investing: 

Click here to learn more about our work and how it’s making a positive impact on women in the state.

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