Women in Investment
If you don’t find a job, why don’t you create an opportunity by yourself?
Facilitator Kyoko Altman introduced the panelists and then turned the floor over to Kathy Matsui, the Vice Chair at Goldman Sachs Japan Co., who explained the acronym ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance, and expanded on these three key words and their impact in the investment world. Because of the nature of today’s global economy, Ms. Matsui expounded on the pros and cons of such investments, and how to connect goals with capital investment. Noting that it’s difficult to link financially positive correlations, she revealed key strategies on how to embed ESG metrics in a company’s financial analyses to minimize risk.
Ms. Altman redirected the focus to the role women play in the investment world, highlighting the benefits of proactive measures and initiatives that companies can take to boost women in the workforce; this exerts healthy pressure. Ms. Matsui shared the numbers and their effects. Shedding some light on statistics in mixed-gender teams, she made it clear that diversity brings better ideas.
Keiko Honda, Executive VP and CEO at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group, share her two self-governing principles. Those are i) take more responsibility at work, and ii) deliver a little more than expected (if you cannot do more than expected, deliver earlier).
Ms. Kalayanamitr, co-founder of the largest e-commerce destination for women in Southeast - Asia, was an inspiring speaker. Through her own stories in her early working days, Ms. Kalayanamitr disclosed some of her tips onto how to encouraging and promoting gender equality in the investment world, through social impact investing and gender-lens investing, but advised of the dangers of focusing on women too much; it’s important to not alienate men.
Ms. Honda firmly believes that women are Japan’s under-tapped resource, and says there is no better time to invest in women.
Ms. Matsui closed the panel session with her inspiring concept of Womenomics as a secular investment theme. About the world and all of its social and demographic struggles, she said, “While there are many possible solutions, I think for many of our countries, one common solution is half the population.”
Ms. Matsui also related to the struggles of working both inside and outside the home, and urged women to expand their possibilities. She said positive rewards are coming from diversity-friendly companies, and she definitely sees a brighter future. Ending on Ms. Matsui’s positive note, the Q&A began.
Ms. Honda counseled the participants, who showed concern about job availability, to look for opportunities, and then said, “If you don’t find a job, why don’t you create opportunity by yourself?” Ms. Kalayanamitr chimed in, assuring the audience that the solution begins within themselves, and providing some key points on sharing home chores to obtain a better work-life balance. As for the workplace mentoring, she said, “If you see a woman struggling, reach out. It can change her life.”
All the women share some of their great investment strategies and how to promote social change and the push for gender equality in the world of investment. Ms. Matsui ended the Q&A session by emphasizing the importance of achieving ambitious targets to truly stimulate change. Ms. Altman brought the session to a close with the comment: “Closing the gender gap is a fantastic investment for everyone.”