October 26, 2020

Criterion Institute has created a guide for Australia-based investors to understand the risk their investments are exposed to as a result of gender-based violence, and to incorporate that risk assessment into their existing due diligence process. Australia has high rates of gender-based violence: a third of all women in the country have been physically assaulted, a fifth have been sexually assaulted, and a woman is murdered by an intimate partner every week. These statistics do not account for violence against men, children, and gender-nonconforming individuals, the latter of whom experience violence at exceptionally high rates.While we have good data on the economic costs of violence—it is estimated that violence against women alone costs Australia almost $22 billion annually—less work has been done to connect the costs and consequences of violence to investment risk. Yet as the #MeToo movement has been the latest to reveal, violence has consequences for companies. Considering gender-based violence in your investments is important in better understanding both investment risk and opportunity. This guide is designed to align with standard diligence processes for direct private investments, but the risk assessment is also relevant to public investors at the sector and market levels. The guide also offers recommendations and tools that investors can use to mitigate the risks of violence and foster a culture of safe, inclusive, and high-performing companies and sectors.

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