Gender-Lens Investing ‘Is Coming Into Its Own’

Gender-lens investing—investing while also considering how to make one's investments beneficial to women and instrumental in lifting up women's economic power, access, and influence—came into prominence almost a decade ago. Still, the approach has spiked in popularity in recent months, interest piqued by developments such as the #MeToo movement and an increased focus on gender equality, especially in the financial and technology sectors.

Financial Planning interviewed wealth manager Luisamarie Ruiz Carlile about the nascent investing approach, as well as her thoughts on gender-lens investing's moment in society right now as investors consider gender inequality as well as other social and environmental returns on their investments, while helping to promote and support women in finance, business, education, and other areas.

By Chelsea Emery

Financial advisers are finding more options for clients who want to invest in funds that support women and girls.

“Gender-lens investing began percolating about nine years ago, and has been really growing and developing,” said Luisamarie Ruiz Carlile, a senior wealth manager with Veris Wealth Partners in New York. “It’s coming into its own, with women’s marches, more women running for office and the #MeToo movement.”

This investment strategy — which is part of a broader category known as impact investing— uses capital to support gender equality in a variety of ways. Some funds invest in companies that promote women into leadership roles, or companies that provide products or services for women and girls. Funds also sometimes focus on increasing access to capital for female entrepreneurs.

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