Sweef Capital has taken the next step in an ambitious program to amplify the focus on business and leadership opportunities for women and girls, launching a Practitioner’s Manual to support its groundbreaking Sweef Capital Gender ROI™ tool.

Released in January, the Sweef Capital Gender ROI™ (Gender ROI™) tool provides a common language around gender and clear systems and processes with which to translate aspirations into superior financial performance and positive social, economic and environmental impact.

Increasing numbers of organisations, government bodies, industry advocates and investors are engaging in frank conversations about barriers preventing women’s full participation in many activities, including access to capital and meaningful career pathways.

The new Practitioner’s Manual sets out how any company, private equity/venture capital firm or their investors can conduct deep gender analysis and track performance.

The manual was developed under the guidance of an expert steering committee and informed by the field experience of gender lens practitioners, in collaboration with stakeholders and subject matter experts.

According to steering committee member Jessica Espinoza, Chief Executive Officer of 2X Global, many people now understand the why for diversity – why it makes business sense and is the right thing to do. “But how do you actually do it, how do you measure progress and what works best?” Ms Espinoza said. “That’s what we can do with this tool and the data that’s coming out of it.”

The measures outlined in the manual have been designed by practitioners for practitioners and are flexible enough to integrate into existing investment processes, reporting and governance regimes. They are grounded in strong evidence that improving diversity, equity and inclusion through economic empowerment is good for women, their families and communities, for business and global economic growth, and for the environment.

For steering committee member Rosemary Addis AM, Founding Partner of Mondiale Impact, the holistic and integrated design of the tool invites continuous improvement. “It’s not static,” Ms Addis said. “And from an investor perspective, it allows you to aggregate and see across a range of factors to drive better outcomes.”

The data will become part of a global evidence base on critical links between diversity, equity and inclusion and organisational and investment performance.

As a women-led private equity firm, Sweef Capital is part of a new wave of investors seeking to grow the market and build capability through investments that deliver healthy financial returns and positive societal impacts for women’s economic empowerment.

Sweef Capital’s Managing Director, Jennifer Buckley, believes the high level of interest in the Gender ROI™ since its release shows momentum toward gender equality is building. ‘It’s exciting to see the appetite for change growing with every investment that unlocks new value,” Ms Buckley said.

Organisations applying the Sweef Capital Gender ROI™ can pinpoint gaps and opportunities to integrate gender success factors into policies, processes and practices. The insights are also useful for investors in due diligence and as part of impact management practices.

According to steering committee member Edward T Jackson, Adjunct Research Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, “What makes (the Sweef Capital Gender ROI™) not just credible but very powerful is that it’s coming out of a group of people placing capital actively… a women-owned, women-led investment practice.”

The Manual development was supported both by funding from the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Gender-Smart Investing Capacity Building Facility through generous support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Jennifer Buckley

Download a copy of the Sweef Capital Gender ROI™ Practitioner’s Manual

To sign up for the new Insight Series exploring use cases, benefits and different dimensions of the Sweef Capital Gender ROI™, email contactus@sweefcapital.com.