Gender Is an Untapped Opportunity for Climate-Smart Investors

Dec 5, 2022 10:10 AM ET

Gender is an Untapped Opportunity for Climate-Smart Investors

by Suzanne Bigel of Catalyst at Large and GenderSmart

When I started investing, it was in companies making sustainable food, sustainable packaging, and products that would reduce the amount of toxins in the environment. Soon after, I began to invest in climate solutions such as clean energy including solar, wind, and water. Early on, I joined Toniic’s 100% impact network, for investors who are committed to using their capital for impact across every investment.

Sustainability wasn’t my only investment theme. I was also an early adopter and field builder in gender-smart investing – a field which has become my life’s work, as the co-founder of GenderSmart Investing Summit and CEO of Catalyst at Large. But combining these two lenses was challenging for a long time.

In theory, ESG covered both, with climate and sustainability being covered by the “E” and the gender being folded into the “S” and the “G.” But in practice, gender and other diversity factors such as race and ethnicity often got pushed to the side under ESG’s broad umbrella. Besides, I was looking for a deeper approach. One that accounted not just for the risks of ignoring climate and diversity, but for the opportunities that came with paying attention to them: of investing in innovators, creating good jobs, meeting the needs of all stakeholders, and working with investee companies to help them do better. Financial return had to be a part of that picture, but I was willing to consider a whole portfolio approach to return.

Read Suzanne's full article here (that is full of useful resources) -