There are a growing number of people working in this field, many of whom have slightly different definitions. We start by considering investments through a number of gender frames or 'lenses'.

Women effect investors are women, men and institutions. Some are women effect investors without realising it. This is a new field, and it's evolving. 

Looking at a portfolio through these lenses may not mean we have to ‘move’ money from one asset to another or from one investment to another.  It might mean keeping everything in place and just asking new questions, seeing patterns and valuing women in all parts of the value chain.

Investing in women and girls is not about negatively affecting men and boys or leaving them out.  However, gender inequality has been ignored for so long that there is value in overemphasising this now. 

One key frame lies in the fact that women have less access to capital around the globe. This is true in emerging markets in the global south and it’s true in tech start-ups in Silicon Valley. The scale, shape and consequences of the problem are different, of course, but the fundamental issue is exactly the same.


  • Demonstrating gender equality throughout the value chain

  • Founded or run by women entrepreneurs

  • Offering products and services which have a positive impact on women and girls

  • Working to dismantle structural gender inequality

  • Addressing urgent human rights or social justice issues

  • Women as investors


Want to learn more?

in 3 minutes

Download these gender lens investing stats. 

in 10 minutes

Get some answers to FAQs about gender lens investing.

in 20 minutes

Get our glossary of key investment terms.

The below interview with gender lens investing pioneer Jackie Vanderbrug is also highly recommended.