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Jackie VanderBrug, one of the foremothers of the field and author of Gender Lens Investing: Uncovering Opportunities for Growth, Returns, and Impact (2016) defines gender lens investing as, “Making decisions that support gender equality while seeking financial returns.” The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) defines gender-lens investing as “Investment strategies applied to an allocation or to the entirety of an investment portfolio, which seek to examine gender dynamics to better inform investment decisions and/or intentionally and measurably address gender disparities.”
Whichever way you approach it, gender lens investing is a key strategy for any smart impact investor.
Throughout my career, I’ve been having conversations about what it takes for more women to get bolder and more engaged with their money. More and more people, especially fierce women, want to see their grantmaking aligned with their values and are eager to take their work to the next level through gender lens investing.
For the past year, I have been speaking specifically about gender lens investing with the Women’s Funding Network (WFN) community and stakeholders. While gathering key themes and insights, the same issues continued to rise up for organizations, individuals, and investment committees wanting to get started in gender lens investing.
Coming out about my money story freed me up to act even more creatively with my money (spending, giving, investing, and sharing). Now, when I ask others to come out about their money story, I do so because I know it helps people manifest their full selves no matter what the environment. But to come out about money in a way that genuinely feels powerful and can make a positive social impact? Here are ways that I have lived and approached this smart idea.
So here I am glued to the television watching these strong, bold, seemingly invincible athletes yell "HELP!" when they get beat on defense and muscling through high fives when they work and score as a team... and I’m realizing how rare it is that any of us ask for help from each other in our professional and activist lives. Do we ask for sustenance or expertise in our movement building around gender equity? Do we shift from our own positions to support each other when it is time to move money and resources to women and girls? When it’s time to seek to extend our leadership voice?
#TuesdaysWithTuti grew out of a desire to highlight the incredible changemakers I have had the privilege of working with. On Tuesdays, I share a bit about the work these individuals are doing, and how I have been honored to support them. Read about recent leaders I have featured below and spread the word about these extraordinary leaders and organizations. Follow me here for to see future posts.
Susan “Weaver” ingrained in me so many lessons on generosity and how to work with my resources—maybe not financial resources, but certainly basic human resources like creativity, emotion, love, reflex, impulse, and energy. My mother had enormous human presence. She was innately comfortable in her body, her wisdom, and her power to impact and influence her surroundings.
My mother modeled for me how to show up ready to work hard, learn from people who are smarter than me, and get back up after defeat or disappointment and try again. She also encouraged my basketball career where I learned to “fake it until you make it.” Failure is constant in basketball… you miss a shot, you shake it off, reach out your arm, and ask for the ball again. All of these skills have been invaluable as I’ve navigated my own journey with money and power and worked to get more women into their own embodied mindset of money and power.