Making Gender Visible: An Investment Path to Systemic Inclusion

Mar 21, 2024 9:00 AM ET

by Geeta Aiyer, CFA, founder & President of Boston Common Asset Management

Until now, gender has not received adequate priority and has been largely confined to a single data point under workplace diversity efforts. While workplace-focused efforts that call for advancements like enhanced disclosure and board diversity are vital to supporting the infrastructure necessary to evolve toward gender equality in corporate environments, lasting change will require more comprehensive gender prioritization across corporate value chains.

Public and Private equity investors have a unique opportunity to motivate companies to design for inclusion and create genuinely inclusive systems within their organizations and throughout their value chains. Determined to equip investors with the tools to activate their voice, my company, Boston Common Asset Management, developed Investor Guidance for Prioritizing Gender in 2022. The guidance supplies engaged investors with critical questions and essential tactics for motivating companies to adopt gender-specific approaches using an integrated, full value chain approach.

Underpinning this approach is the understanding that a corporate strategy that prioritizes inclusive gender governance can positively impact each aspect of a company’s value chain, as detailed below:

  • Workplace operations impact a company’s leaders and employees via gender representation, benefits, compensation, health, safety, and well-being.
  • Supply Chain practices impact business relationships between tier-1 suppliers and beyond.
  • The Product/Service Marketplace and its participants are directly and indirectly impacted by how and what a company designs, develops, and disseminates.
  • Communities are directly or indirectly impacted by a company’s business and/or community-focused activities.

Read Geeta's full article here -