In the context of a global pandemic and economic crisis, 2020 has put the spotlight on women as frontline actors and the disproportionally impacted. COVID-19 not only threatens to reverse the progress made thus far but to exacerbate gender inequalities. It is important for us not to lose the momentum achieved in the last decade but instead use the current crisis as a lever to accelerate gender equality.
At the same time that WoWE is raising its Endowment, it is implementing its strategy to build the science of ensuring investors have access to the insight, data, and best practices necessary to develop a meaningful Gender-Lens Investing (GLI) strategy and identify – or develop – GLI products that directly contribute to their priority areas and impact women and girls and the communities they empower. This work is being made possible thanks to a growing ecosystem of impact-focused partners who share our goal of accelerating the awareness of GLI and the growth of gender-lens AUM.
The Tara Health Foundation and its portfolio
The Tara Health Foundation aims to improve the health and well-being of women and girls by keeping their investments in alignment with their goals and demonstrating measurable returns. Founded in 2014 by Dr. Ruth Shaber, the organization mostly focuses on the U.S market in the following areas: reproductive health, birth equity, workplace equity, corporate engagement and gender lens investing.
Tara Health is funding ecosystem-building organizations enabling changes we want to see in the market and its well-constructed portfolio includes entities that are additive and interlinked. It includes key actors in the gender-lens space who are now valued partners to WoWE:
- Center for High Impact Philanthropy(CHIP) – Tara Health funded their XX Factor framework to improve the lives of women and girls. Under a grant from the Foundation, CHIP and WoWE are now collaborating to further develop the XX Factor’s framework into a scoring methodology to rate sovereign issued bonds based on how well a government is providing physical and non-physical infrastructure for improving the lives of women and girl citizens.
- Wharton – Four for Women was commissioned by Tara Health Foundation to establish a framework for evaluating companys’ impact on the women they employ.
- As You Sow– Its Gender Equality Funds tool was funded by Tara Health Foundation to support the screening of mutual funds and ETFs for sustainable investors who care about workplace equity. In January 2020, WoWE co-hosted a webinar with As You Sow on the intersectionality of gender and other sustainability themes. WoWE is now leveraging the gender tool to power its public markets investments with a strong portfolio performance so far (we will share an overview of our investment strategy soon, stay tuned!)
- Equileap– the organization aims to accelerate gender equality in the workplace by assessing more than 3,500 companies against its 19-criteria scorecard. (You can read an overview of our partnership here.)
- Rhia Ventures– “The Reproductive Health Investors Alliance” was founded with the support and guidance of Dr. Ruth Shaber and the Tara Health Foundation. It focuses on the use of private and public equity to improve the reproductive health of women in the United States.
Tara Health also invests in other important GLI products and GLI-focused entities including Pax Ellevate Global Women Index, and their grantee Criterion Institute which has played a significant role in building the field of gender-lens investing.
The Foundation has been a crucial partner and supporter of WoWE in its foundational year. An appreciated board member, Dr. Ruth Shaber has also served as a thought leader, a coach, an investor, an advocate, and a problem-solver in the development of WoWE. Her ongoing support and partnership are critical factors to our success.
Stay tuned to read more about Ruth’s work and her motivations for investing in and supporting WoWE!