Social Governance

BlackRock, UN Women Sign Agreement to Promote Gender Lens Investing

Published on: 27 May 2022 07:10 PM

UN Women, the UN agency dedicated to gender equality and women's empowerment, and BlackRock, a leading provider of financial technology, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding promising to work together to promote gender-lens investment.

BlackRock will explore methods to mobilise money in favour of an economic opportunity for women as part of the agreement, which was inked at the World Economic Forum's 2022 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. UN Women will collaborate on data and research as a knowledge partner.

UN Women defines gender lens investing as the deliberate allocation of resources and alignment of investment strategies, processes, and products to create positive and demonstrable contributions to women's empowerment goals while also having the potential to earn a financial return.

The partnership aims to catalyse the growth of gender lens investing and inspire the mobilisation of capital into companies that address women's needs in education, financial services, childcare, healthcare, and other sectors by combining BlackRock's deep investment experience across public and private markets with UN Women's convening power and gender equality expertise.

The belief that investing to help improve the lives of women and girls worldwide may expand their economic participation, generate value, and generate higher economic growth unites BlackRock and UN Women.

BlackRock will attempt to invest across a broad range of asset classes, regions, and investment styles on behalf of customers as an asset manager.

A "dual bottom line" investment theory is at the heart of them, aiming to drive or support positive real-world outcomes while providing investors with attractive risk-adjusted returns. The initial funds will be accessible to a global investor base, through institutional and wealth channels, during the following quarters.

In the future, BlackRock and UN Women will work together to engage the broader ecosystem of public and private sector organisations working on gender equality; strengthen data collaboration and research, and continue to look for new ways to collaborate on and promote revenue-generating and market-based solutions that help women and girls.

Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Global Head of the Official Institutions Group at BlackRock, commented:

“We are excited to partner with UN Women, a global champion for women’s empowerment, to help scale the nascent field of gender-lens investing. We believe this partnership will help meet the growing appetite of asset owners around the world to focus more on the “S” pillar of ESG and their growing interest in investing for positive real-world outcomes alongside competitive financial returns.”

Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, commented:

“UN Women’s mission is to achieve a world in which all women and girls can exercise their basic human rights and can unlock their full economic and social potential. Achieving gender equality is at the heart of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and requires strong public-private partnerships that will direct greater flows of financing toward gender equality objectives. We are pleased to partner with BlackRock, a leading global asset manager, to make a real impact and to catalyse global markets to bring gender lens investing to the fore.”

Source: UN Women

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