Gender Lens Investing: Legal Perspectives
March 25, 2021
Calvert Impact Capital is dedicated to providing the resources investors need to incorporate gender into their investment processes and demonstrating that gender lens investing is not a niche or optional impact strategy, but a powerful way for investors to enhance their portfolios and create structural change.
When we published “Just Good Investing: Why gender matters to your portfolio and what you can do about it” two years ago, we received a lot of follow-up. Readers embraced the tools we provided but wanted more. Looking for ways to make gender goals more tangible and create greater accountability, one question investors often asked was “how do you incorporate gender into deal documentation?” So, with a team of faculty and students from the New York University School of Law’s International Transactions Clinic (ITC), we began to explore just that.
Today, we are proud to release “Gender Lens Investing: Legal Perspectives” a report authored with the ITC. The report explores how investors incorporate gender considerations into the legal documentation and terms of their debt financing, summarizing the results of a survey of 20 investors. As the report details, this is still a relatively nascent practice. Most investors are not using strong legal mechanisms to enforce gender considerations and there are a variety of approaches taken to incorporate gender into documentation. However, all investors surveyed shared their desire to learn from their peers. Investors were clear that greater information exchange – sharing templates, sample language, and clauses, etc. –could make the practice of incorporating gender into deal documentation more robust. They emphasized that it could also encourage the development and standardization of best practices, which are critical to enabling greater collaboration and shared understanding amongst investors and portfolio partners.
We hope this report is a step in that direction. In the appendices of the report, you will find a sample term sheet and a legal documentation questionnaire with guiding questions to help investors think through whether and how to incorporate gender into their deal documentation within the context of their broader gender lens strategy.
Thank you to all the survey respondents for their time and their candor on this subject and to the student and faculty team from the NYU ITC who made this report possible.
Our door is always open for further discussion. We hope you’ll reach out with comments, questions, and ideas for collaboration moving forward.
Download the report here.