Moving Toward Gender Balance in Private Equity and Venture Capital – IFC (2019)

>>> Read the full resource


IFC, 2019 – 137 pages

Our research examines gender balance—defined as leadership teams with at least 30% of men and women—in private equity and venture capital funds and the companies they invest in within emerging markets. We explore the relationship between gender balance and fund performance, and the roles that general partners, the vehicles investing private equity and venture capital funds, and limited partners, the source of capital, can play in alleviating gender gaps in investment funds and their portfolio companies. We find that the gender gaps in the representation of women as allocators and recipients of capital put access to financing at risk for female entrepreneurs and may reduce investment returns for funds. This report answers three questions:

  • How gender-balanced are leadership teams of General Partners, which allocate capital, and of portfolio companies, which receive investments?
  • Are there benefits of moving leadership teams toward gender balance within General Partners and portfolio companies?
  • What can General Partners do to move toward gender balance in their leadership teams and those of the portfolio companies they invest in?


Bridging the Digital Gender Divide: Include, upskill, innovate – OECD (2018)

>>> Read the full resource


OECD, 2018 – 151 pages

This report explores a range of factors that underpin the digital gender divide, bolsters the evidence base for policy making and provides policy directions for consideration by all G20 governments. The report finds that hurdles to access, affordability, lack of education as well as inherent biases and sociocultural norms curtail women and girls’ ability to benefit from the opportunities offered by the digital transformation. In addition, girls’ relatively lower educational enrolment in disciplines that would allow them to perform well in a digital world – such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as information and communication technologies – coupled with women’s and girls’ more limited use of digital tools could lead to widening gaps and greater inequality. Co-ordinated policy action can help narrow the digital gender gap. This requires:

  • Raising awareness and tackling gender stereotypes.
  • Enabling enhanced, safer, and more affordable access to digital tools.
  • Stronger cooperation across stakeholders to remove barriers to girls and women’s full participation in the digital world.

Unlocking Markets for Women to Trade – ITC (2015)

>>> Read the full resource


International Trade Centre, 2015 – 80 pages

This publication provides insights to decision-makers on women’s participation in trade and the challenges they face. It provides data from importers and exporters in 20 developing countries; outlines the trade barriers; shares models of good public and private sector initiatives; and provides recommendations for policymakers to engage female entrepreneurs more fully in the global economy.

The report outlines a road map to rapidly boost the participation of women in the global economy, which has eight pillars for policy and programming action:

  • Better data. Collect, analyse, and disseminate data on women’s economic participation, to shape policies and programmes with impact.
  • Sensitive trade policies. Create trade policies and agreements that enhance women’s participation in trade.
  • Access to public procurement. Empower women-owned businesses to participate in the US$10 trillion annual public procurement market. Their current share is an estimated 1%–5%.
  • Diversity in corporate procurement. Create corporate procurement programmes that embed diversity and inclusion in value chains.
  • Certifying women-owned businesses. Set up mechanisms to certify ownership and eligibility of women-owned businesses.
  • Improving business environments. Address supply-side constraints that especially affect women-owned businesses.
  • Bridging the finance gap. Close the gap between men and women for access to financial services gap.
  • Adopting reforms. Ensure legislative and administrative reforms guarantee women’s rights to ownership and control over resources.

Guide on Gender Mainstreaming: Business, investment and technology services for private sector development – UNIDO (2015)

>>> Read the full resource


UNIDO, 2015 – 82 pages

All United Nations agencies share responsibility for improving gender equality and thus need to understand the relevance of gender issues to fulfilling their mandate. By systematically mainstreaming gender into its Business, Investment and Technology (BIT) interventions to strengthen Private Sector Development (PSD), UNIDO is contributing to ensuring equal opportunities for women and men. The aims of this guide are to:

  • Explain what gender mainstreaming means for UNIDO.
  • Describe how key thematic aspects of BIT/ UNIDO’s work relate to gender.
  • Provide practical, step-by-step guidance on how to systematically mainstream gender into BIT projects.

The Business Case for Women’s Economic Empowerment: An Integrated Approach – ICRW (2014)

>>> Read the full resource


ICRW, 2014 – 8 pages

This study highlights the eight building blocks of WEE. Additionally, it presents results from research on corporate-funded WEE programmes.

Main takeaways:

  • While there are a lot of corporations investing in WEE, there is little available data about what is working and what is not.
  • Most programmes focus on access to education, financial support, training, and employment opportunities rather than a more integrated approach based on a human rights framework that delivers the broader conditions necessary for women to thrive.
  • There is an opportunity and desire to increase collaboration and improve communications between the women’s rights sector and corporations working in WEE programmes.

Understanding and measuring WEE: Definition, framework, and indicators – ICRW (2018)

>>> Read the full resource


ICRW, 2018 – 12 pages

This document is intended as a conceptual guide, rather than an operational toolkit. Economic empowerment is a complex process, and the general framework presented here will have to be adapted to meet the needs of specific projects. This document presents:

  • A definition of women’s economic empowerment.
  • A measurement framework that can guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs to economically empower women.
  • A set of illustrative indicators that can serve as concrete examples for developing meaningful metrics for success.

Incubate, Invest, Impact. Building and Investing in High-Impact Enterprises for Empowering Women and Girls – GIZ (2014)

>>> Read the full resource


GIZ, 2014 – 92 pages

This study explores how the social entrepreneurship ecosystem can unite to develop an action plan on gender lens incubation and investing for enterprises focused on the low-income market segment in India. An analytical framework to identify high impact enterprises that promote gender equality and women’s and girl’s empowerment is put forward in the study. Challenges and related solutions are highlighted for these high impact businesses that empower women and girls, which will need to be addressed by the broader ecosystem if they are to achieve their potential for transformative change. While this study goes beyond the assumption that high impact enterprises for empowering women and girls are only those that are owned and led by women, it does consider the gender-specific barriers that need to be overcome for a woman entrepreneur or business leader.

The Global Landscape of Gender Lens Investing – Intellecap (2019)

>>> Read the full resource


Intellecap, 2019 – 52 pages

This report provides a comprehensive overview of gender lens investing – defined as an investing approach to promote social and/or economic empowerment of women, in addition to financial returns. It presents the landscape of gender lens investing and analyses strategies used by gender lens investors across the globe. In doing so, it also examines ways in which businesses promote the social and economic empowerment of women and correlates investment strategies. The report studies patterns and draws insights about the evolution of the strategies, the financial instruments used in adopting them and regions where they are implemented.


Engaging and Working with Men: Programme insights and key considerations for the agricultural sector – USAID (2016)

>>> Read the full resource


USAID, 2016 – 8 pages

This technical brief focuses on how to engage men in WEE programmes. It presents guidance on the effective engagement of men in programming to achieve WEE and gender equality outcomes in the agricultural sector using a market systems approach. The brief establishes five key considerations for this engagement:

  • Help men identify and act as allies
  • Address gender directly
  • Work through cooperation, not only through isolation
  • Amplify the influence of role models
  • Do no harm

Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH): Emerging good practice for the private sector – CDC, EBRD & IFC (2020)

>>> Read the full resource


CDC, EBRD, and IFC, 2020 – 96 pages

Addressing GBVH in the private sector is a relatively new and complex area. This guidance note outlines emerging practices in addressing GBVH in operations, projects, and investments. These practices are drawn from recent experience in the private sector, as well as a larger body of work from the non-profit sector. The guidance is organised into seven sections:

  • Addressing GBVH
  • The business case for addressing GBVH
  • Overarching principles in addressing GBVH
  • Assessing GBVH risks, company capacity and resources
  • Preventing GBVH and encouraging reporting
  • Responding to reports of GBVH
  • Monitoring GBVH