Working with Funds and Companies to Get Gender-Smarter

Friday, 2 nOVEMBER


Location: essex



Moderator: Shruti Chandrasekhar, IFC

Conversation Starters:

Christina (CJ) Juhasz, Women’s World Banking

Arpita Raksit, CDC Group

Session Description:

Private equity can play a catalytic role in closing economic gaps between men and women—while strengthening enterprise growth, job creation, and financial security. In this session, attendees will join a candid discussion on how to intentionally address gender gaps in private equity fund operations and within investee companies.   Whether its promoting women in leadership within Funds, enhancing the pipeline development of women-owned/led companies, or investing in companies that promote gender diversity, sell products and services that benefit women, or consider gender dimensions in value chain operations – this session will highlight the number of ways Funds and Companies can be gender-smart. Facilitators will share a useful framework to guide Fund Managers and Companies seeking capital on where to focus their efforts within gender-lens investing. Aha moments, mistakes made, lessons learned, and emerging best practices will be highlighted as participants work in groups to unpack what it means to get gender-smart(er). 


Investing for Impact: Operating Principles for Impact Investment


Shruti Chandrasekhar

Shruti Chandrasekhar

Christina (CJ) Juhasz

Christina (CJ) Juhasz

Arpita Raksit

Arpita Raksit

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Shruti Chandrasekhar is the Head of SME Ventures at the IFC/World Bank Group. SME Ventures is an SME-focused private equity fund investment program. Shruti also leads IFC’s gender focused initiatives across private equity and venture capital. Shruti has spent...

...around seven years at the IFC in various roles – leading direct investments in early stage companies in e-logistics and digital health as well as investing in funds across Asia. Prior to the IFC, Shruti was with PremjiInvest, the multi-billion dollar family office / endowment manager for Mr. Azim Premji, the 7th largest signatory of the Giving Pledge (and largest non-American giver). At PremjiInvest, Shruti held multiple roles including leading the global fund investment program, late-stage direct VC investing in Silicon Valley, and mid-market PE in India. Prior to her investment career, Shruti was a management consultant. She has an MBA from the Wharton School and an undergraduate degree from MIT.

Christina (CJ) Juhasz is the Chief Investment Officer of WWB Asset Management (WAM,) a subsidiary of Women’s World Banking, responsible for raising and investing the $50M private equity impact investment fund, WWB Capital Partners, LP – which provides growth capital, and technical assistance, to women-focused inclusive finance institutions. The fund seeks to...

...increase access to financial services for women through its portfolio companies. It also works to increase the recruitment and promotion of women as staff and leadership of them. The fund is invested in ten portfolio companies covering Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia. Prior to establishing WAM, CJ was the director of Women’s World Banking’s capital markets group. Prior to joining Women's World Banking, CJ served in increasing positions of responsibility in Deutsche Bank’s fixed income group in New York and London and Merrill Lynch’s capital markets group in New York. CJ began her career as a military police platoon leader in the United States Army, serving in Germany and the US. CJ holds a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Stanford University. She is a 2013 Eisenhower Fellow.

Arpita Raksit is Gender Lead, Value Creation Strategies at CDC Group, the UK’s Development Finance Institution. Having led the development of CDC's first Gender strategy, she is now responsible for driving the implementation of the strategy across CDC's portfolio. This work focuses on women’s economic empowerment, one of CDC’s core strategic initiatives. Arpita is...

...a sustainability professional, having worked in the field for the last nine years. Her work has ranged from environmental and social risk management for projects across sectors including power, manufacturing, healthcare and agriculture. As a sustainability consultant, she advised MNCs on their sustainability strategies, conducted environmental and carbon audits and has published seminal papers on the circular economy. During her Indicorps fellowship, Arpita managed a NABARD sponsored programme in Orissa, bringing savings-led microfinance and enterprise opportunities to women’s groups. Arpita holds a BA Hons in PPE from the University of Warwick, an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, and is IMC qualified.