Virtual Events

Women Who Fund - Investing with a Gender Lens

Presenter: Tracy Gray

There has been much talk and discussion regarding the lack of diversity, especially gender, in business. From Silicon Valley to Hollywood to Wall Street, the number of women executives and decision makers are at an all-time low. We were predicted to reach gender parity in 2015 but now the prediction has changed to 2085.

Women are almost 51% of the population and women entrepreneurs are the majority business owners in the US yet recent reports have concluded that:

- Across industries, the numbers of women at the executive decision making level, is at its lowest point in 15 years.
- In venture capital, only 6% are women, down from 10% in 1999.
- Women receive only 5% of the start-up capital.
- Women-led high-tech companies typically launch with capital at levels that are 30-50% less than those led by men.
- Forty-seven percent of gamers are women, but 88 percent of video games developers are male.

At the same time, studies also found that:

- Women-led, venture-backed companies bring in 12% more revenue than male-led companies.
- Companies with higher representation of women on boards or at the decision making level, out-perform those without.
- Teams with at least one female founder did 63% better than all-male founder teams.

Even "Mr. Wonderful," Kevin O'Leary from the Shark Tank found that his companies with women CEOs outperformed all of the men.

Many strategies have been suggested on how to change this dynamic, however, many of them are directed at convincing or shaming men. But neither women nor the world economy can wait for men in power to change. If during the global down turn, women owned businesses had the same access to capital as men, we would have pulled the entire world out of the recession at a faster rate. And if women entrepreneurs received the same amount of capital as men, we would create six million jobs - two million in the first year. To put that in perspective, the current unemployment number in the US is 7.9 million.

Women "control of the purse" - meaning, a big chunk of the available capital in the world is, and the majority will be, controlled by women. We are currently living through the largest transfer of wealth from men to women in history. Currently, women decide where 27%, or approximately $20 trillion, of the world's capital will be spent, while earning $13 trillion. And by 2028, women will control 75% of consumer discretionary spending worldwide. In the US alone, women in some way control 39% of investable assets. Companies with women on the executive team have an economic impact of $3 trillion annually, which translates into the creation and/or maintenance of more than 23 million jobs.

This webinar will educate women on why and how they, individually and collectively, have the power to impact this global inequity... AND make money! In addition, women will learn what it means to invest with a "Gender Lens" and hear of the resources available to begin making gender-based financial decisions.

Tracy Gray has over 20 years' experience assisting organizations in a variety of industries reach their goals. She is currently Managing Director at The 22 Capital Group (The 22), an international investment and advisory firm. Tracy is also the founder of We Are Enough. We Are Enough's mission is to increase the flow of capital to women entrepreneurs by educating women on how and why they should invest in women-owned, for profit businesses. Ms. Gray was recently named one of the 50 "Women of Influence" in business in Los Angeles.

Ms. Gray is on the Exergy, Inc. advisory board and Isidore Recycling board of directors. She also serves on the non-profit boards of directors for the California State University, Dominguez Hills Philanthropic Foundation, CHINAWEEK, and arts and culture organization Clockshop and the advisory board of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. She recently served on the boards of the University of Southern California's Center for International Business, Education and Research, the Los Angeles Regional Export Council and Women in International Trade LA.

Ms. Gray has authored economic development articles and a national report and is a frequent speaker at various conferences and events including TEDx, Google and Banc of California. She has traveled to 40 countries, studying international business and economic development in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Ms. Gray holds a B.S. in Mathematical Science with an aeronautics emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara and dual MBAs from Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley specializing in private equity, international business and corporate social responsibility.