Financial Feminism: A Woman’s Guide to Investing for a Sustainable Future
For those of us that have been in the sustainable investment space for some time, it is reassuring to finally be getting airtime. The mainstreaming of sustainable investing is what we have been aiming for and so I embrace the progress we are making with open arms. That said, we still have many miles to travel – particularly when it comes to fully activating retail investors. This has always been my focus with Moxie Future – a platform and community for engaging with women, in particular, on sustainable investing – and now my new book, Financial Feminism: A Woman’s Guide to Investing for a Sustainable Future.
Why Focus on Women?
Unsurprisingly I get this question a lot! For many years I was struck by the number of professional women who would approach me after I spoke at a conference or would reach out to me on LinkedIn – the commonality being they wanted to learn more about sustainable investing and what they could do to take action through their personal investments. This then led me to try to understand more about women and sustainable investing.
At the time there was limited research but over the last few years we have plenty of evidence that women are highly motivated to think about impact and non-financial returns in their investment and financial decisions. Moxie Future has undertaken its own research – across different countries – and the findings are loud and clear. Women really do care about where their money is going.
At the same time, we also know that many women tend to feel disengaged with the financial industry, often patronized by financial advisors and excluded from the marketing and design of investment products. This needs to change – particularly as the proportion of private wealth held by women grows rapidly.
Financial Feminism–More Than Earning and Investing on a Par with Men
Of course, as with all things related to feminism, we are talking about equality – in this case, obviously the belief in the financial equality of women. The concept is rapidly gathering momentum across the world, as we wake up to the ongoing challenges that many women continue to face when it comes to money and the very apparent lack of progress we are making.
However, and this is the crux of my book, I believe that financial feminism is not just about women earning and investing on a par with men. Financial feminism represents the opportunity for women to use their financial power to build the kind of world that they want to live in. Financial feminism gives women a voice to determine how the world should change for the better.
I find the concept of financial feminism deeply inspiring – on both a personal and a professional level. I genuinely believe we can take powerful strides forward by recognizing the importance of what financial feminism is demanding, but also the solutions needed to address these demands. Through my book, and Moxie Future, I am trying to take this message mainstream.
What Motivated Me to Write the Book?
Writing the book was a true labor of love. I am continually frustrated by the limited progress we are making. I urgently want to do more and, in taking action, I want to connect with women across the world on the possibilities of what they can do with their money.
Through the chapters of the book, I introduce women to the concept of sustainable investing, its history and how it sits across different asset classes. I leverage the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for developing our priorities and provide a detailed roadmap on how to move forward. I explore how sustainable investing can be done in practice but also the challenges we need to overcome, all the way referencing examples, case studies and existing products and resources. Finally, I shine a spotlight on key issues including gender-lens investing, the role of financial services and how technology is shifting the landscape.
By the end of the book, I have a vision that the reader will feel truly empowered to take the next step. I want her to feel confident that she could have a conversation about sustainable investing – with friends, partners, parents. I also want to encourage her to head to her bank or meeting with her financial advisor and confidently express what matters in terms of her investment decisions and not be patronized or fed misinformation.
And then I want to encourage these women to help spread the word, have profound conversations about the future of money and what it can mean for us. This ‘call to action’ is really important to me because this is when talk becomes a movement.
Excitingly, the book hit the ‘virtual’ shelves last month. I wrote it very much as an accessible and easy-read, aimed at women who may have limited experience in investing or are struggling at knowing where to start. It is global in scope and application, so I truly hope it will reach all corners of the world.
The feedback has been incredibly positive so far – I often receive comments such as ‘this is the book I have been waiting for’ and ‘I have already bought copies for my sister / best friend’. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing I am sowing seeds and hopefully inspiring women to dive in
Moxie Future, and the book, are passion projects – a unusual hobby, if you like! I love writing, I love communicating – and most importantly, I love the enthusiasm and excitement that I see when I talk about these issues with women.
Article by Jessica Robinson, founder and Managing Director of Moxie Future and author of Financial Feminism – A Woman’s Guide to Investing for a Sustainable Future.
About the book – In this practical and accessible guide, sustainable investment expert Jessica Robinson shows how, through financial feminism, women can use their financial power to invest in a sustainable future and build the kind of world they want to live in. With jargon-free explanations and real-world examples, she demystifies the financial services industry, breaks down just what sustainable investing is and demonstrates the?societal and environmental impact of the investment.