Including Men in Gender Lens Investing

Gender Lens Investing is not just about women. Men, who often control the power dynamic in the workplace, play a crucial role in the success of GLI and are some of the most impactful proponents because they can call out bias and question norms from positions of authority.

BIDUK invests in Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) in Indonesia. In addition to funding, we work with business owners and teams to help them consider gender in their organizational structures, internal policies, human resources and workplace environments as a strategy for creating more gender equitable workplaces. Some of BIDUK’s biggest breakthroughs have been through helping male founders understand their unconscious biases and the value of gender-balanced management. BIDUK's male clients have committed to prioritizing women in C-Suite positions and, in one case, the creation of a new C-Suite role to be filled by a woman.

BIDUK looks for founders who are open to improving their gender approach in ways that are tailored to their model and stage of growth. We support them in creating more equitable work environments, by advocating for gender-equitable policies and teams and sharing how these strategies can benefit their businesses.

BIDUK’s women-led businesses have typically had a natural awareness around gender equity. This awareness is reflected in their workplace practices. However, BIDUK has observed that our male-founded SGBs tend to support gender equity in theory, but don’t know exactly what it is or how to put it into practice. BIDUK therefore initiates a process of self-reflection with these clients as a first step to helping them gain awareness about the ways gender-equitable policies and practices could benefit them. From there, the conversation evolves into more practical ways to bring about gender equity.

With this approach, changes are internally motivated and more likely to be sustained in the long run.