29 November 2018 | Tool Kit

Gender Lens Investing Tool: Designing an Action Plan

Gender Lens Investing


The Gender Lens Investing Tool: Designing An Action Plan is a toolkit created by the Criterion Institute to be used when developing a gender lens investing strategy. Following a standard investment cycle, this tool supports the design of an investment strategy with considerations for how gender dynamics might present risks and opportunities. It provides a framework to consider building a gender lens into new or existing strategies. This tool can be used to inform investment strategy or in diligence.

Gender lens investing is the incorporation of a gender analysis into the systems of investing to make better decisions. A gender analysis is a disciplined approach to understanding how differences in power impact the advantages or oppression people experience based on their gender. An intersectional gender analysis considers how ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, ability and other realities limit or compound experiences of advantage of oppression.

An analysis of gender relations can tell us who has access, who has control, who is likely to benefit from investments, and who is likely to lose out if these power differentials are not taken into consideration. The point is to see and analyse patterns often unseen or undervalued in financial analysis that have implications for investments.

The structure of this document aims to have you record your current processes, identify what assumptions you are making in each practice, and identify where you may want to interrogate your assumptions through analysis to ensure current practices are not built on bias. You are then asked to reflect on what actions you might take to challenge and correct any biases embedded into your processes. Finally, you look to potential externalities and potential partners. Potential externalities are factors important to your success, but perhaps outside your control to change. Potential partners are those that might help you accelerate your work, knowing any systemic changes that need to happen requires collaboration. Guiding questions for each section of the investment process are provided to support completion of your action plan.



  • Investment thesis
    • Questions to help you guide your investment thesis
  • Investment process
  • Practices to support action plan implementation
    • Questions to help guide your review of current organisational practices
  • Fundraising
    • What are the unique elements of the story you share externally to raise capital?
    • What are the unique elements of the story you share externally to raise capital?
    • How might you engage gender lens investors?


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Published by: Criterion Institute, Investing in Women

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