In impact investing, where investors seek both positive financial and social or environmental outcomes, the integrity of evidence is critical to understanding the true impact of one’s investment. AGC’s approach reflects its intention and the design of a funding model that supports its core commitment to gender equity. We believe our model has the power to generate transformative change, starting with the underrepresented and undervalued.
In our Sixth Annual Impact Report, we have measured this thesis and outlined the frameworks supplementing our impact objectives. As one of our pillars of impact, Gender Lens Investing is where we explore how inclusive financing is the cornerstone of equity. We believe that no business should be excluded, especially not those steered by the often underestimated but capable leaders of small, women-led enterprises.
Aligning Research to the Changing Landscapes
Although gender wage gaps have narrowed historically, recent progress has been slow, with women in the U.S. still earning slightly over 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. In her research to advance understanding of women’s progress in the workforce, recent Nobel Prize laureate, Dr. Claudia Goldin’s research reveals that most of this wage disparity occurs between men and women occupying the same roles.1 AGC’s work in gender lens investing is a conscientious decision to align with criteria and commitments that address these disparities.2 Our organisation is 100% women-owned, features a board where 67% of directors are female, and boasts a senior management team composed of 40% women, meaning our DEI and ESG policies are the foundation on which building a financially stronger future starts.
Still, impact investing faces challenges navigating regulatory developments, leaving no room to ignore how nuanced measuring impact can be. The primary inquiries surrounding DEI and gender underscore that, despite its prominent role in impact investing, organisations are still defining how to push the needle even further. This year, GIIN published findings that reveal 84% of research participants believe progress has been made in the harmonization of impact measurement frameworks since 2018.3 This is why our safeguards, policies, and annual reporting on gender metrics is indispensable. Not only does reporting maintain our accountability historically, but it also allows us to contribute to shaping the industry with our insight and the opportunities we have generated for women since 2018.
Key Highlights: Gender metrics in AGC’s SME impact stories.
|Filgud||50% of their senior management team are women; 60% of job roles are occupied by women|
|Confecciones el Industrial||90% of the employees are women
|One Shot Media||90% of the employees are women
|Carnaval de Barranquilla||All Museo del Carnaval guides are women. Female groups such as Rumbon Normalista and Negritas Puloy participate in Barranquilla Carnival. Micro women SMEs fulfil carnival orders including making masks, costumes, etc.|
|Vive Agro||80% of the job roles are occupied by women
50% of these job roles are occupied by single mothers. Flexible working options benefit female employees
Further research in our Sixth Annual Impact Report reveals where our portfolio reflects the diverse potential that gender lens investing can unlock. 49% of our partners and 45% of SMEs we supported last year were led by women. Compare this to the global average of 31% of women in leadership roles, and you’ll find that AGC is not just meeting expectations but exceeding them by a substantial margin.4
While the demand for gender reporting in impact investing is on the rise, originating from both investors and responsible investing and regulatory bodies, the methods and tools for reporting vary widely. Active participation throughout this dialogue remains crucial as it continues to shape our approach to addressing the disparities experienced by small, women-led businesses. We diligently analyze the following elements to guide the development of our methodologies:
• Unmet financial needs: Emerging markets without strong financial ecosystems lack sufficient alternatives to big banks, disenfranchising women in communities where the need is greatest.
• Discriminatory customs: Women are more likely to face barriers to attaining capital, i.e. higher interest rates and shorter repayment periods.
• Gaps in access to funding: A lack of funding creates both socio-economic and technological barriers affecting the ways women and the labour market interact.
We invite you to join us on this journey, where capital flows where it matters most, and the power of financial inclusion changes lives. To learn more about how we are ensuring that our actions contribute to a more equitable financial landscape for all, request a copy of the full report by contacting email@example.com.
1 Claudia Goldin Wins Bobel in Economics for Studying Women in the Work Force
4 World Economic Forum. Global Gender Gap Report 2022. Accessed Oct. 5, 2023. https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2022/in-full/2-4-gender-gaps-in-leadership-by-industry-and-cohort/