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MEDA’s Gender Equality Mainstreaming Framework garners industry support as the “go-to reference material for those seeking to create gender equitable social change through their investment process”

Posted By Devon Krainer, Mennonite Economic Development Associates, Thursday, April 5, 2018

For many organizations, pursuing business strategies that empower women can seem daunting. Often the most difficult part is to begin. In response to this challenge, MEDA launched the Gender Equality Mainstreaming (GEM) Framework, a practical manual and toolkit for transforming companies to be more gender equitable while supporting business growth and impact. Numerous industry leaders have announced their support for the toolkit. From gender lens investing pioneers like Jackie VanderBrug to private equity funds including Women’s World Banking, SEAF and Sarona Asset Management to government agencies like USAID, the framework is rapidly gaining traction with investors and capacity building organizations.

In the words of Joy Anderson, Founder and President of Criterion Institute:

“MEDA’s GEM Framework provides investors, donors, intermediaries and other stakeholders with an open source toolkit for assessing gender performance of companies, as well as guidance on how to improve gender outcomes within business policies and practices. It builds on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) standard to enable analysis and upgrading across ESG criteria – elevating gender to a cross-cutting theme. Too often gender is represented by a tick box buried in the appendix, this resource brings gender to the front end of analyzing business operations, both the opportunities and the risks…I predict this resource will be the go-to reference material for those seeking to create gender equitable social change through their investment process.”

The toolkit is applicable to a wide range of investors (e.g. foundations, asset managers, private equity funds, government donors) and capacity builders (e.g. accelerators, technical assistance providers, NGOs, business associations), and can be applied throughout the investment life cycle, from investment readiness and due diligence through to value creation and impact monitoring. Companies seeking a quick and simple way to assess their gender performance can complete an online GEM self-assessment in less than an hour. The self-assessment generates a score and tailored recommendations on areas to improve gender equality within each ESG component.

We hope the GEM Framework will be a useful resource for practitioners around the world, and will enable companies to contribute to sustainable and equitable growth for all. We would love to hear from you on how you are applying the framework and welcome opportunities to collaborate in the future.

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Tags:  impact investing; gender lens investing; gender; w 

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