By Tia Subramanian, Arianna Muirow & Joy AndersonPublished in the Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment Volume 12, 2022 Issue 3; Published online Nov 30, 2021
We examine the quality of the gender lens investing field’s underlying gender analysis to assess how a field built to redress marginalization analyzes that marginalization. In examining the evolution of gender and queer theory, we question the validity of the dominant definition of gender used in investing. Since its institutionalization, gender studies has evolved on the grounds that gender experience is dynamic and must be understood through diverse lived experiences. Drawing on current theory in gender and queer studies from across the Global North and South, we find that a comprehensive understanding of gender encompasses gender identity and sexuality as well as social, economic, and geopolitical considerations. We find a significant gap between gender lens investing’s primary modes of analysis and lessons from scholars. Acknowledging the challenge of translating theory into financial practice, we suggest steps towards an investment practice that better mirrors how gender operates in the world.