SEAF uses its Gender Equality Scorecard© to assess women’s economic empowerment and gender equality within investment opportunities and portfolio companies
This measurement mechanism is an important tool that will demonstrate that SEAF portfolio companies can provide appropriate financial returns and measurable impact, including women being economically empowered through investment and development activities.
SEAF is using the Gender Equality Scorecard© (GES©) for multiple purposes, including:
- As a screening tool to identify companies already demonstrating a commitment to gender equality,
- As a tool to assess portfolio companies’ level of demonstrated gender equality in order to improve it over the investment hold period, as a value creation activity,
- As a guideline to develop SEAF’s best practices in the implementation of its gender improvement plans across the underlying parameters of each gender equality vectors,
- As a mechanism to leverage the data derived from the tool as it is applied across its gender lens portfolio to support the analysis of the impact of improving gender equality on increasing investment returns for investors, and thus validating SEAF’s investment thesis.
The GES© (sample rating provided at right) provides an overall rating score for a scored company on its level of women’s economic empowerment and gender equality within the business. The team will work actively with portfolio companies over the life of the investment to make strategic & operational improvements that will raise the score of the company, continuing these efforts all the way through to an exit.
This overall rating score is based on 6 gender equality performance vectors such as pay equity, workforce participation, leadership and governance, benefits and professional development, workplace environment, and women-power value chains. Each gender vector would have 4 factors that contribute to the vector rating that, in turn, feed into a company’s overall gender rating. For example, workforce participation would assess a firm’s employees and turnover gender-disaggregated data as well as its recruitment and retention policy and practices.
SEAF is in a unique position to leverage its extensive experience in investing in SMEs and apply the necessary interventions to improve strategy and operations. Beyond providing strategic and operational support post-investment, opportunities exist to build value in companies by shaping gender equality and women’s empowerment through the six gender equality vectors. The findings will be utilized to introduce best practices to enhance gender equality programs in their investee companies by embedding these programs in policies, processes, and procedures and monitor the implementation through its periodic assessments. In this regard, SEAF is also building up its best practice library in the region from its collaboration with its investee companies, a rich resource that can be shared for the benefit of many other companies.