Women Effect is an initiative under the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, to provide an information hub for content and experience in the field of investing with a gender lens, women as investors, and investing to have a positive effect on women and girls. This comes under Wharton’s Investing in Women Initiative. Women Effect was originally an independent initiative, founded by Suzanne Biegel, fiscally sponsored by Criterion Institute and supported by a visionary group of funders. The initiative is moving to Wharton as of March, 2017, with some significant changes, and more information will be announced soon, about those plans.
The work of many visionary leaders has inspired a movement that believes in the power of finance to achieve large-scale social impact and to address some of our most pressing economic and social issues. The goal with Women Effect has been to increase the capital moving with a gender lens, creating durable and systemic change for women and girls worldwide – both as investors and beneficiaries of invested capital. As the initiative shifts to Wharton, the work will be framed in some new contexts. The field of gender lens investing is in its very early stages and spans a broad diversity of actors and activities. In addition to her other industry roles and private consulting, Suzanne Biegel is now Senior Gender Lens Investing Adviser at WSII. This fits in with the broader work of Catalyst at Large to inspire and activate people and institutions to move more capital, more strategically, with more velocity, with a gender lens.