In an effort to better synergize its support for gender equality and women led enterprises with its mission of providing social investments to enterprises through the triple bottom line (3BL) strategy, the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) formalizes the creation of a Gender Team.
Gender sensitivity and equality is included in the 3BL framework which FSSI seeks and supports among its partner social enterprises (SEs). To better promote FSSI as an inclusive organization, the Gender Team will provide guidance, leadership and oversight for the gender strategy and action plans of FSSI.
This move is also in line with the Foundation’s partnership with Investing in Women (IW). In July 2020, IW, an initiative of the Australian Government, launched partnered with FSSI in providing support to women-owned or women-led social enterprises (WSEs). The Macquarie Group has joined this initiative by investing more than Php 43 million through the Macquarie-IW RISE (Responsive Interventions Supporting Entrepreneurs) Fund launched on November 2020. The RISE Fund aims to inject capital and offset the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women-led small and medium enterprises.
Value for Women (VfW), a specialized advisory firm that helps organizations advance gender inclusion, is providing a 15-month technical support to FSSI particularly on gender lens investing (GLI). VfW conducted an organizational gender assessment in late 2020 to May 2021. The assessment report outlined FSSI’s strengths, gaps, and opportunities to advance in its GLI journey. According to the report, there is a strong internal commitment to gender by FSSI’s leadership and management. However, it does not have a formal gender strategy. It also needs to better define the gender aspect in the “People” aspect of 3BL, including identifying the gender success indicators and metrics which are being targeted and monitored. The formation of the Gender Team seeks to address these.
FSSI has identified three priority areas following the organizational assessment – SE pipeline building, investment tools and policies, and market/outreach. It is currently finalizing its Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Strategy (GESI) Action Plan, and working on the development of a gender strategy including policies, key performance indicators, and targets for partners.
The Gender Team is composed of the FSSI Executive Director, Assistant Director for Development Services, Human Resource and Administration Manager, Knowledge Management, Advocacy and Communications (KMAC) Manager, Partnerships Manager and other staff designated by the Executive Director.