Conclusions GLI Forum Latam 2021

Introduction

From November 9 to 11, 2021, the second edition of the GLI Latam Forum was held. More than 2,000 people participated in the virtual event over three days, which featured more than 45 speakers from 14 countries. ElForo sought to continue positioning gender-sensitive investing (GLI) as an effective mechanism to advance towards gender equality, close gaps, and create value and profitability for investors and economies in the region.

People from the entrepreneurial world, investors and representatives of civil society organizations, the private sector and the public participated in workshops, panels and conversations with the aim of generating solutions, rethinking the financial system and finding opportunities for collaboration to promote and strengthen investment with a gender approach in Latin America.

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“Investing with a gender perspective has the potential to contribute to gender equality, while strengthening the economy of the region, boosts the women's leadership and creates opportunities inclusive and sustainable for all. We must act accordingly and take advantage of this incredible opportunity”

Carmen Correa, CEO of Pro Mujer during the opening of the event

The three days of the event were developed from two key themes
The need to rethink the financial system, so that it can contribute to closing gender gaps
The promotion and visibility of women's leadership, from various fields and sectors.

Through the development of both axes, we explore the current state of investment with a gender approach, as well as potential solutions to include this concept in a transversal way in the economy of the region.

The three days of the event brought together speakers of diverse profiles, representatives of multilateral organizations, (Gema Sacritsán, CIO of IDB Invest and María Noel Vaeza, Regional Director of UN Women), investment funds (Tim Radjy, Chairman of Alphamundi and Nancy Swanson, Executive Director of the Linked Foundation), civil society and social enterprises (Pamela Molina, Executive Director of the World Federation of Deaf People and Juana Ramirez, CEO of Grupo SOHIN), foundations (Daniela Konietzko, President of the WWB Foundation of Colombia, Daniel Gonzalez, Senior Program Officer of the Open Society Foundation).

Government (Alan Elizondo, Director of FIRA and Mercedes D' Alessandro, National Director of Economy, equality and gender in the Ministry of Economy of the Argentine Republic.), among others. The agenda focused on financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, disruptive financial services, and women breaking paradigms in the region.

In search of concrete solutions to face the systemic challenges that we face in the region, the event included a mapping of the investment ecosystem with a gender approach in Latin America, as well as a process of co-creation of potential solutions to the challenges encountered in the region map.

Mapping of the GLI system in LATAM

Through a collaborative co-creation exercise based on design thinking, developed a GLI Ecosystem Map in Latin America using contextual tools through the experience of a diverse group made up of more than 70 representatives from various sectors (civil society organizations, investors, entrepreneurs and academia) and from countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, Canada , Honduras, Guatemala, Uruguay, among others.

Once the context exercises were carried out, the map was created using a layer structure that allows it to symbolically represent how the GLI Ecosystem is covered by different levels of reality (political, economic, educational, migratory, among others) and in turn its elements live through these in a constant struggle to manifest through cultural tensions, cycles, paradigms and power relations. The exercise yielded the following findings: 

Systemic findings and recommendations:

Region

There is no GLI ecosystem as such in the region, so we are faced with the potential to develop it.

Mapping

It is a potential ecosystem, in which the main actors and the relationships and tensions that occur between them were mapped within eight different dimensions. The mapped dimensions included: (i) political-social, (ii) economic-financial, (iii) business, (iv) technology and communication, (v) education, (vi) environment, (vii) health and (viii ) migrations. The exercise also showed that all these layers are crossed by systemic inequalities, a deep-rooted patriarchal culture and multiple forms of discrimination (“isms”: racism, sexism, classism, among others) at all levels, as well as temporary phenomena such as the Covid19 pandemic. and its disproportionate consequences for women (she-cession – derived from job insecurity and unequal care burdens), which represent barriers to the generation of sustainable, equitable and inclusive development

Increase

On the other hand, some emerging forces were identified that present opportunities for transformation and innovation. Systemic responsibility is highlighted, which recognizes the interconnection between the economic, the social and the environmental, as an imperative for development, which includes movements for sustainability from business and capital, (for example: standards for companies –B-Corps and investments – ESG). Likewise, the women leaders who are excelling in their fields (especially the investors and women's networks in this sector, who are advocating for promoting and channeling more resources towards women entrepreneurs) stand out transversally in each of the dimensions.

Record

4 of the 8 mapped dimensions inspired the team to analyze 4 narratives represented in circles (vicious and mixed) that were derived from the following leverage points, which were found by the expert group after a second analysis of the system map:

  • Lack of GLI visibility in the region.
  • The need to increase the representation of women in sectoral decision-making spaces, such as business associations.
  • The polarization in the countries is exacerbated by the lack of equity and inclusion in the decision-making groups.
  • Preponderance of a masculine narrative

Analysis

Once the leverage points were found and chosen, the narratives were defined to inspire the ideation exercise that took place during the GLI Forum.

Concretar

In addition to the 4 circles or narratives that were analyzed, there is a constant: good intentions that do not materialize. That is to say, those laws, norms, commitments or strategies that are written and debated, but later are not executed.

Increase

In the search for leverage points highlighted the need to:

  • Communicate massively about the existence of the ecosystem, providing greater visibility to the great advantages of investing in it, in terms of risk and profitability.
  • Take advantage of the awareness that already exists in the private sector and the new generations about the importance of increasing the presence of women in decision-making positions.
  • Generate strategies that allow the elimination of competition paradigms, seeking to generate new perspectives and collaborative development paradigms.
  • As a transversal axis in each of the previous points, make evident the social, economic and environmental benefit that the reduction of gender gaps represents, and a view of diversity, equity and inclusion