Equileap: Investing in Gender Equality

Poverty in Ecuador, where I grew up, was seldom out of sight. Although my family and I were not directly affected by poverty, we did not ignore it. Every day, on my way to school, a group of homeless approached our car to ask for charity at the stoplight. Some of them were men, but the majority were women and children, often young girls carrying their younger siblings on their back. Seeing them on a daily basis had a deep impact on me. 

The more I looked at poverty, the clearer it became that gender inequality was one of the main elements perpetuating the cycle. Understanding that poverty has a predominantly female face drove me to work for NGOs that promoted women's economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and women's rights. About nine years ago, I had my first career switch. Some private donors asked for help with their philanthropic activities. These people, with "a big heart and a big wallet" - as I would to call them, needed advice on how to make a difference with their charitable donations. After returning from a vacation in India, I remember one donor was upset with the poor conditions in which tapestry weavers live and work. The donor asked me if I knew any trustworthy organizations she could support to improve the lives of these weavers. This was the beginning to becoming a philanthropic advisor, writing a giving handbook and conducting research on philanthropy in the Netherlands, my second home country. 

A few years afterwards, a private bank asked if I would help them set up their philanthropy advice services for wealthy clients. Switching from the non-for-profit sphere to the very-much-for-profit one at a private bank opened a new world for me. I learned about different financial tools and how to use ESG criteria to build sustainable investment portfolios. I also saw how philanthropic donations, while immensely in value, only tend to make up a minimal percentage of a person’s total wealth. Think of capital as an apple pie, where the apple pie as a whole represents investment capital, and the crumbs falling off the pie represent the donations. Most people set their hearts and hopes on the crumbs, hoping these will make a difference in the areas they care deeply about. They often ignore the potential of their largest assets to create social impact. 

During this time, I also began to see how important it was to align investments with values. If funders are not aware of how their money is invested, then it is possible for them to work in contradiction with their values. For example, a donor giving all her/his donations to raise awareness of the growing threat of diabetes failing to screen out the fast-food industry from her/his investment portfolio. 

The world of "social impact investing" is a fresh and innovative approach and I was disappointed with how seldom gender equality was mentioned. I decided to dp some research to find out if there was a way to invest using the gender equality criteria in order to promote a positive impact in the lives of women and girls. Soon I came across extensive data pointing towards the social and financial benefits of investing with a 'gender-lens'.  In fact, there is a small mountain of research pointing towards the link between companies showing better gender balance in their leadership and higher profits. Not only are the profits higher for these companies, but they are also more sustainable, have better governance and tend to be more risk-averse than companies led only by men. With this data on hand, I decided it was time to use investment capital to take a real leap towards gender equality. 

Early 2016, together with a partner based in London, we set up Equileap, a new foundation that promotes gender-lens investing as a high-impact social and financial strategy. Our aim is to support transformative global change for women and girls, and at the same time, deliver a return for investors. The investment criteria Equileap promotes is based on the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. We use the latter to identify the companies that show gender balance in leadership and also promote equal pay and services that have a positive impact on women and girls. 

Equileap's first activity is to partner with an asset manager to create a new investment fund. This fund will invest in public quoted companies that meet ESG standards and gender equality criteria. The fund will generate an ethical financial return for investors, and give them the opportunity to share part of their returns with the Equileap Foundation, which will support projects that promote the empowerment of women and girls. The next months will be crucial as we look for the right asset management firm to partner with. We know this is a great challenge, but we feel lucky to be supported by various private and public organisations that believe in us and are willing to put their time and money into making Equileap a reality.

Diana van Maasdijk is the co-founder of Equileap, an organisation investing with a gender-lens. Her past roles include heading Philanthropy Advice at ABN AMRO private banking, running her own philanthropy consultancy firm in Amsterdam and being Director of Development for MamaCash Fund for Women. She is also the author of “Handboek Goed Geven”, the first giving guide in the Netherlands. She can be reached at diana.van.maasdijk@equileap.com

Photographer & Videographer Credit: Diana van Maasdjik

Relevant Tags:

Investment Leadership
  • You must be logged in to post a comment
Please enter a comment
  • pham yen
    I am very happy to read this. Appreciate your sharing
  • Aileen Blodgett
  • sandy yadav
  • akriti shah

    I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so I think it is very useful and knowledgeable.

     TechSmith Snagit coupons
     Avg coupons codes
    bing ads promotional deals
     HostGator promo codes
    GoDaddy renewal coupons
  • akriti shah

    This article has really topped my advantage. I am going to bookmark your site and keep up checking for fresh out of the box new data
    HostGator coupons codes
    target deals 
    TechSmith Snagit coupons codes
    medex supply promo codes 
  • vahid nazari
    با بهترین وکیل در موضوع مربوطه مشاوره بگیرید. امکان رزرو مشاوره حقوقی رایگان تلفنی، حضوری و آنلاین می باشد. اشخاصی که توان مالی در جهت انتخاب و اعطای وکالت به وکیل دادگستری برای پیگری پرونده خود را ندارند می توانند با مشاوره حقوقی مورد به مورد و مرحله به مرحله از مشاوره حقوقی و راهنمایی که توسط وکیل دادگستری ارائه می شود استفاده نمایند و عدم توانایی گرفتن وکیل در پیگیری پرونده را تا حدی به این نحو جبران نمایند . مشاوره با وکیل یکی از خدماتی می باشد که وکیل مدافع به شما عزیزان جهت حل مشکل ارائه می دهد.

    وکیل دادگستری موسسه حقوقی تهران مدافع
  • Linh Kiều
    Your article is detailed, thanks to it I solved the problem I am entangled. I will regularly follow your writers and visit this site daily.
    wings io
  • Kelly Brook
    I want certain information about this topic and I easily found those information from this article  Runner 2049 film. Ryan Gosling coat
  • panistefanin Miller
    Hello! Very interesting topic, thank you raised it
  • Ronlad Lee
    This is helpful for my personal blog, i really want the idea for my blog, thanks for share, but this post should be small and clear for understanding

    Casio G Shock Watches UK Custom Made Suits Hong Kong
  • flip diving
    Thank you for your sharing. Thanks to this article I can learn more things. Expand your knowledge and abilities. Actually the article is very practical. Thank you!
    lucky patcher
  • joseph tim
    I know well what actually society think about gender discrimination and you put a great post to discuss on it but I personally believe it could be change through our education. I feel good when someone like cisco switches like me eg: AIR-AP-T-RAIL-F.
  • Kelvin Martin
    There was a short time when I believed woman's rights was about sexual orientation fairness. In the same way as other, I trusted them. It was seeing that what they ceaselessly campaigned for was the correct inverse of what they asserted to be about that changed my view. Women's activists don't campaign for sexual orientation uniformity. Peter Quill Trench coat They battle for those things that advantage (a few) ladies, frequently to the burden of men. It ought to be noticed that numerous ladies don't concur with the women's activist push for qualifications.
  • Nirmala Ashwin

    This post is very good for us. It has got a lot of benefit from us.I hope that you will be writing this post again http://www.russiongirlsinmahipalpur.in

  • clara albert
    The strategy consultancy of texas consulting services spent a few years handling problems of environmental and social sustainability within the economic system, including as a member of the board of directors of the German Society membership of Rome and the scientific advisory board of the Goethe-Institut.
  • stephanie jackson
    There is any such pressure in latest society to paintings. can someone write my paper For all of us to work. And yet, ladies keep complaining that they areno longer provided the identical level of repayment for the jobs that they are able to get, or that they aren't taken criticallywhilst applying for higher paying jobs that guys usually maintain.
  • clara albert
    Can someone do my assignment Gender equality is neither feasible nor suited, so who cares it's it's spoilt through girls? maximum of whom are not feminists, and aren't personally invested in gender equality in any respect.
  • Marilyn Keller DR

    Hello, just wanted to say, I loved this article. It was practical. :)

    - - - Lily Oliver - - -
    madalin stunt cars 2

  • ashley benson
    Our factor is to help transformative worldwide exchange for girls and young girls, and in the period in-between, carry an arrival for speculators. After looking at some of the weblog articles on your weblog, I critically respect your way of blogging like Coursework Help.
  • Peter Kevin
    After looking at a number of the blog articles on your weblog, I critically admire your manner of blogging.  I am astoundingly energetic to see this put up. A devotion of thankfulness is all together for percentage with us. keep it up and share the all of the more maximum related posts like Reliable Essay Help.
  • Adoo Mara
    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful Write My Essay For Me | Paper-Cheap UK article. Thank you for rendering these details.
  • Burty Mangham
    After looking at a number of the blog articles on your blog, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet page list and will be Write My Essay For Me checking back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know how you feel.
  • Cristina Aarora Aarora
    This is a to a radiant degree illuminating article. I what's more concur with Do My Essay your post title and your truly well address your perspective. I am astoundingly vigorous to see this post. A devotion of thankfulness is all together for share with us. Keep it up and share the all the more most related post.

    astounding work!
  • alee Aliyana
    Our point is to help transformative worldwide change for ladies and young ladies, and in the meantime, convey an arrival for speculators. The venture criteria Equileap advances depends on the UN Women's Empowerment Principles. Essay Writing We utilize the last to distinguish the organizations that show sexual orientation adjust in administration and furthermore advance equivalent pay and administrations that positively affect ladies and young ladies.
  • Stephen Walker
    Tending to the sociocultural standards and demeanors in regards to men and women’s roles and status inside the home and group which propagate gender-inequality disparity inside the general public, through all encompassing multi sectoral mediations which draw in key customary, religious and other group pioneers who can impact the hurtful dispositions, Essay Editing Service conclusions and practices that keep up unequal treatment of ladies and men and furthermore sustain savagery against women and girls.
25 of 25 comments