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Nia team members promoting gender lens investing in the heart of Times Square

Gender Lens

Diversity, inclusion, belonging and effectiveness are core values for us at Nia. Companies that embrace a diverse leadership and workforce are likely to be more innovative and thus better positioned to financially outperform their competitors lacking diversity.

Investing with a gender lens

We were among the first to invest with a gender lens, and consider how to invest using intersectionality, in both gender and the environment. At Nia, we value inclusive workplaces, where inclusion is intentional resulting in a sense of belonging for all employees of all genders and backgrounds. We know from the research that generally, companies with more women serving on the board of directors, and at the executive level are poised to generate higher financial returns than those that do not include women.* We also understand that companies with women in leadership tend to hire more female employees.

 

While we value and actively advocate for broad-based diversity, gender is something we can measure—and gender inclusion can at times serve as a proxy for other important types of diversity.

 

At Nia, we incorporate a gender lens into our portfolios and into everything we do. As a women-led team, when we say we invest with a gender lens—what do we mean? Yes, we require that all Nia portfolio companies include women in leadership. These criteria alone exclude approximately 50% of the companies we research. Demonstration of inclusion is an essential first step and bottom line criteria. At Nia our gender lens runs deeper. We go beyond leadership teams to the very reason for being in each of our portfolio companies. All Nia portfolio holdings are actively working on innovative products and services important for a sustainable world. From addressing health care for women, to supporting women-led businesses, to providing clean energy solutions for clean air and water, Nia portfolio companies are contributing to creating a better world for women and girls.

Working with a gender lens

Within our own women-led and women-owned company, we are working to change the face of finance in small and big ways. Beyond our investment products, we connect and engage with high school feminist clubs and college students, empowering young women to "put their feminism into their finances." We are actively involved in our communities, lecturing and teaching at colleges and universities worldwide sharing the benefits of investing with gender inclusivity front and center. 

 

Our society has built a narrow view of what business leaders look like. At Nia, we expand that perspective as we help lead the way in sustainable finance.

 

We are proud of our internship program for high school girls and college-aged women. We offer training on how to run a purpose-driven, values-based company and teach them practices of sustainable finance. Through our program, we empower young sustainably-minded investors as well as work toward achieving our broader goal of changing the face of finance by offering pathways to opportunities for women and people of color. 

* MSCI. (2016) The Tipping Point: Women on Boards and Financial Performance, Women on Boards Report.

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