Advancing women’s rights and gender justice is one of Wallace Global Fund’s central goals, which we promote through our grantmaking and our investments. While a growing number of investment products tout their benefits to women and girls, “pink washing” remains a threat. It is not possible to achieve gender justice without disrupting and harnessing financial systems. We are committed to helping equip women’s movement partners with the capital and financial tools they need to build power and achieve progressive social change.
Wallace Global Fund began using its investments as a tool for empowering women and advancing gender justice over two decades ago, beginning with early support for the microfinance sector that provided loans to underserved women. Since then, our focus has broadened. We now pursue a range of strategies at the intersection of impact finance and gender justice, encompassing grantmaking, advocacy, and mission-aligned investing.
We supported some of the earliest studies and convenings around the young field of “gender lens investing,” and we continue to support the development of feminist on-ramps into impact finance. We prioritize gender justice and women’s health in our corporate accountability and shareholder advocacy efforts, and we have begun integrating a gender analysis across all assets within our portfolio.
Through our grant funding, Wallace Global Fund has nurtured a community of practice committed to exploring and advancing the nexus of impact finance and gender justice. For example, our grant funding has helped the Criterion Institute produce case studies and guides establishing gender as materially important for investors in a range of asset classes and sectors. Funding for GenderSmart’s Gender and Climate Finance Working Group has showcased the potential of applying a gender lens to investments that target the climate crisis and applying a climate lens to gender-smart investments. Adasina Social Capital has developed publicly accessible datasets of social justice impact metrics for publicly-traded companies that have been sourced and guided by social movement partners.
Finally, we support innovative investment vehicles that demonstrate exciting new ways to use finance as a tool for advancing gender equality. For example, some of our impact investments include the Buen Vivir Fund and Calvert’s Community Investment Note, as well as investments in energy access, in which women play central roles.