Research consistently proves that more diverse teams yield better results. Capria has embraced this knowledge since inception and is now increasing integration of gender smart investing principles into capacity development within the Capria Network.
Further, IFC research shows there is a strong correlation between gender balanced leadership and financial performance. The funds with gender-balanced leadership outperformed their unbalanced peers by as much as 20% in annual returns.
We caught up for a quick Q&A with Capria Network Member, Brightmore Capital’s Managing Partner, Ndeye Thiaw, on how and why to increase women’s participation in investing and the kind of impact it will bring within the investing ecosystem in emerging markets. Here are the excerpts:
How does diverse leadership make your fund unique or give you an advantage?
Diversity brings together a set of different and commentary approaches. Academic research has also proven again and again that diverse teams perform better. Last but not least, specifically within the investment field, diverse approaches lead to better investment decisions as they avoid “groupthink” and allow the analysis of a single issue (or investment opportunities) from many different angles.
What is the biggest challenge you see today resulting in the low numbers of women in fund management?
Ndeye: History and tradition. It’s been a very male-dominated industry for many years; it will take many more female fund managers to significantly change the overall gender makeup.
What tip can you share for women who have the goal of becoming a fund manager?
Ndeye: Surround yourself with lots of positivity.
What is the biggest challenge and/or what are positive trends you see today in making capital available to women entrepreneurs in emerging markets?
Ndeye: Particularly within the last 1-2 years, there has been increased attention towards gender lens investing and this trend is set to continue. More and more fund managers are specifically targeting female-owned and female-led companies.
How will you use your leadership position as a fund manager to drive gender equality, health, rights, and well-being of girls and women?
Ndeye: First and foremost, I will use my position to make investments in SMEs contributing to female empowerment, gender equality, health & well-being, and educational opportunities for women and girls. Secondly, as female fund managers, we can set a positive example for the financial ecosystems that women can and should have an active role, as well as an adequate representation within the investment sphere.
Capria offers Gender Lens investors the opportunity to support and benefit from funds with female leadership. Six out of Capria Networks 19 fund managers include females in leadership, with two teams that are exclusively women-led and 4 teams that have women partners or principals.
More than 30% of Capria’s Network Funds Have Women in Leadership Roles. Read here how it is adding value to the emerging market investing ecosystem.
Read what other network members have to say about gender-smart investing:
- Lessons in gender-smart investing from Unitus Ventures, a Capria Network member >
- Lessons in gender-smart investing from Terra Global Capital, a Capria Network member >
- Lessons in gender-smart investing from Lateral Capital, a Capria Network member >
- Lessons in gender-smart investing from Capital Invent, a Capria Network member >