Investing more in women will boost the recovery of Latin America and the Caribbean
The pandemic has particularly affected women. Pre-existing gender gaps have exposed them to further loss of income, unemployment and unpaid household burden.
Contributing to closing the gender gap is not only necessary for the prosperity of the region, but it is also a great business opportunity. Various studies show that women tend to be better payers, that the businesses they lead generate higher financial returns and that, as consumers, they make most of the expense decisions.
IDB Invest has been promoting gender-lens investing, which focuses on investing in companies led by women, in those with gender equality policies and in those that offer products and services aimed at women.
Today, more than ever, we are committed to continue paving this path because when women win, we all win.
Challenges and Opportunities
Why is having a gender equality strategy good for business?
An annual GDP growth opportunity of US$2.6 billion for the region’s labor market in 2025 is forecast if women participate in the market economy to the same extent as men.
Women influence 80% of household purchases. In 2014, 54% of the women in the region were in the workforce--an increase of 44% since 1990--and Caribbean women had the highest participation rates.
There are between 1.2 and 1.4 million micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the region owned by women, representing 40% of the total. However, female business owners face higher barriers to accessing financing and often obtain less attractive conditions than men.
At IDB Invest, we work with our clients to narrow some of these gender gaps and to find new business opportunities.
At IDB Invest, we believe that inclusion in the broadest sense enables companies to create inclusive work place atmospheres where all workers, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or physical ability, feel respected and included and can perform to their fullest potential, helping businesses thrive.
Human talent, when diverse and inclusive, benefits companies because it boosts innovation and the discovery of new markets as well as improves financial results. IDB Invest gives advice on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion through innovative financial and non-financial solutions, producing positive results for our clients and society at large.
Blogs and News
Pride in Action: A Guide to LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean
A Roadmap for Women's Leadership Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
Equality needs everyone: The role of men in gender equity, diversity and inclusion
Report: Gender Lens Investing: How Finance Can Accelerate Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean
DEBrief: Gender Lens Investing: How Finance Can Accelerate Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
The Power Of Gender Equality in the Workplace
Global Trends Report 2018: Women's Empowerment Principles
Report: Growing as equals - Banking on women, a business opportunity
Report: For equality we make the difference - Financial incentives to close the gender gap
Paula leads the Sustainability and MSMEs Team at IDB Invest, which she joined in 2019. She is responsible for the intersection of private sector and sustainable development.
Before joining the IDB Group, she led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Business Call to Action, a global platform that promotes inclusive businesses and their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Paula previously worked at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in New York, where she provided advice to global corporations on topics including responsible sourcing, human rights, and sustainability strategy. She worked with CARE Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation in the development of value chains, impact investments, and microfinance.
Paula earned a master’s degree in environmental studies from York University (Canada) and a professional degree in industrial engineering from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia).