11 Mar 2021

Can impact investing close the gender wealth gap?

By Milly Shotter

There is often much talk of the gender pay gap when it comes to financial inequality. However the issue of the gender wealth gap is equally, if not more, important – with investment playing a key role.

So, as impact investing gathers momentum do we have a unique opportunity to use its growth to help close the gender wealth gap? If we can ensure gender parity with those invested in impact assets now, women’s wealth will rise as the value of impact investing does.

As Sir Ronald Cohen, the father of British venture capital, recently said – ‘investors that are stuck in the model of just risk and return will quite simply lose out.’ Impact investing is an opportunity women cannot afford to miss – for the sake of themselves or society.

At BGV we outperform our peers when it comes to investing in more female founders and 43% of the people employed by our portfolio identify as women. Our team is also majority female. However we’ll admit that the pool of individual investors in our funds aren’t as gender diverse as we’d like. That’s something we’re really keen to work on.

With that in mind, we recently convened a webinar to explore whether impact investing can help close the gender wealth gap. Watch the full discussion below.

 

 

Panelists

We were delighted to be joined by an incredible panel of experts in the space:

Meganne Houghton-Berry – angel investor, board director and start-up mentor and named 2017/18 UK Business Angel Association Angel of the Year.

Olivia Sibony – multi-award-winning entrepreneur and trailblazing ethical investment champion, co-founder of SeedTribe, government advisor at the DIT, board member for the Mayor of London’s Women in Cleantech steering group and UCL’s FastForward 2030.

Cleona Lira – London-based financial adviser helping people invest in line with their values with a background in Psychology, Financial Planning and Nonviolent Communication.

Over the discussion we covered what the wealth gap and impact investing are, why they matter and how they intersect; the duty to invest ethically and why it can be exciting; how women new to impact investing can get started; and how those more experienced can approach venture investing. 

 

Resources 

Our panelists generously shared a list of resources for further learning and action:

Media and community

Emilie Bellet’s platform and community Vestpod and podcast The Wallet – both aimed to help women to strive to be more financially independent.

Money Clinic – a podcast hosted by Financial Times consumer editor Claer Barrett helping listeners to feel more confident making money work. (Olivia particularly recommends the Gina Miller interview for a dose of honesty about suffering imposter syndrome and learning along the way.) 

‘Conscious Money’ newsletter – for helpful resources on financial literacy and overcoming personal barriers to dealing with money.

Learning and tools

Impact Investing Institute learning hub – learning modules on impact investing.

Six books on Personal Finance and Investing.

Five books on Sustainable & Impact Investing.

Vanguard, Fidelity – UK mutual fund sites that have basic investing education and tools like pension calculators.

Investment platforms

PensionBee – a platform for pension consolidation.

Big Exchange – an investment platform launched by the Big Issue for ethical investments.

SeedTribe and the Tech for Good SEIS & EIS Fund for investing into startups for direct positive impact.

 

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