46 - Why assets managers should be managing the risk of Gender-Based Violence

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Gender lens investing is a field that is far more robust and complex than most people realize. Often gender considerations are reduced to a check-box exercise where investors count the number of women being served, women-led businesses being financed, or women sitting on boards. More ambitious gender lens investors may expand the scope of their analysis to consider issues such as pay equity, parental leave policy for workers, and forced arbitration.

Yet even the most ambitious gender-lens investors do not think much about the diverse range of factors that can affect gender equality and social inclusion across the globe, not just a given company, project, or industry. Most often this analysis is considered too complex and the gathering of high-quality, standardized data, far too onerous. That’s because the range of issues on a global scale is mind-bending and covers disparate areas such as financial inclusion, unpaid care work, land & property ownership rights, education & literacy rates, nutrition & food security, sexual & reproductive health rights, and the list goes on. In short, there isn’t an area of our global social fabric that gender equality doesn’t touch.

Enter today’s guest, Jessica Menon, who is solving this challenge as Founder & CEO of Equilo. Jessica is a gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) specialist with 20 years of experience conducting gender analyses, crafting gender action plans, managing organizational change management with a gender lens, and implementing systems-level change to advance GESI globally. She has experience working across development, humanitarian, finance, and private sectors in a wide range of industries. She also holds a Master of Public Policy from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

During this episode Jessica and I discuss Equilo’s work bringing together data, analytics, and tools to inform better gender-transformative decision-making across government, non-profits, and for-profit businesses. We discuss in detail two of Equilo’s tools, the GESI Contextual Analysis, and the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Risk Score, the methodology underpinning them, the challenges around data collection and comparability, and some of the surprising results of how various countries score on GBV Risk, and how investors should interpret and integrate this data. And be sure to stay tuned to the very end where Jessica discusses the exciting new predictive modelling work they are doing now.

Resources mentioned during the episode:

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