Invest in Women. Improve the World.

Today the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and YWCA Columbus hosted a lunch and lecture, Womenomics, featured Katie Koch, Senior Portfolio Strategist and Chief of Staff for Goldman Sachs United Kingdom.  Katie made the case for investing in social change for women and girls.

Womenomics. I have to admit, that until one of our Board Members who is chair of our Investment Committee, Candace DeLuca, shared the concept with me back in January, I was unaware of what the word really meant.  As Candace described it, Katie was asked to go out and find the best investment for GDP growth over the next 2 decades. She came back and said the answer was to invest in social change for women and girls. You really can’t make this kind of thing up!  Katie’s findings connect to what we are doing locally and why investing in women and girls is really a global solution. 

From research we know that women control 83% of consumer purchases, they globally comprise 66% of the workforce, and yet in central Ohio women still make just 77 cents to every dollar a man makes.  Additionally, women give back more to their communities and families. Women reinvest 90% of their income into their families, in contrast to men who only reinvest 30-40%. 

Earlier today we looked at this from an economic standpoint. In the investment world, Katie works to identify the top and emerging equity markets.  It is through this role that she has helped inspire Goldman’s support and funding of the 10,000 Women initiative: a commitment to investing $100 million over 5 years in 40 countries, to provide 10,000 under served women entrepreneurs with business and management education, access to mentors and links to capital. 

As a women’s fund we work to create gender equality, by investing in the global power and potential of women and girls the community can become a driving force behind improving the economy. With many thriving local women own businesses in Columbus, like Jeni’s Ice Cream and Liz Lessner’s restaurants, we have a wonderful community when it comes to investing locally in women and girls. I look forward to the ongoing ripple affect Katie’s visit will create in our central Ohio community.

In Katie’s word- women and girls are not the problem but the solution!

Nichole E. Dunn

President & CEO

The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio