Hogan Lovells and 2X Challenge launch Aurora: The Gender Lens Project

LONDON, 1 February 2021 - Hogan Lovells and the 2X Challenge are to launch Aurora: The Gender Lens Project at the GenderSmart Investing Summit, taking place virtually from 1-11 February 2021.

The innovative project will involve the research and development of a toolkit of legal standard terms and conditions for Gender Lens Investing (GLI),  to include gender lens definitions, precedent clauses and shared principles for equity and debt transactions. These legal building blocks will simplify and standardise the application of a gender lens to finance transactions across all asset classes, sectors and geographies.

Co-Head of Hogan Lovells Impact Financing & Investing, Sukhvir Basran, said: “Incorporating Impact Financing and Investing within mainstream finance is a priority for the sector, and for Hogan Lovells. To truly mainstream GLI, investors need concrete guidance on how to structure a gender lens into the legal documentation of a transaction, and we are committed to using our legal skills to empower them to do this through our collaboration on Aurora.”

Hogan Lovells and the 2X initiative will increase gender lens awareness and engagement throughout the process as they consult and collaborate with investors, financial institutions, trade bodies and relevant international organisations to create this industry approved GLI toolkit, with publication expected in September this year.

Jessica Espinoza, Chair of the 2X Challenge, added: “Despite the strong business case for, and growing interest in, gender lens investing, and the emergence of key tools, training and resources during 2020, the funding gap to achieve SDG 5 (Gender Equality) remains a significant challenge. The Gender Lens Project will help mobilise capital to advance women’s economic empowerment and gender equality.”

Sukhvir will be speaking at the GenderSmart Investing Summit, of which Hogan Lovells are Quantum sponsors, on Innovative, Alternative and Blended Finance on 2 February.

Suzanne Biegel, Co-Founder of GenderSmart and Co-Producer of the GenderSmart Investing Summit, commented: “We are excited that the GenderSmart Investing Summit will play host to the launch of Aurora: The Gender Lens Project. This kind of innovative collaboration between Hogan Lovells and 2X initiative, with GenderSmart as an amplifying partner, is exactly what we need more of in order to shift the needle and move forward to execute gender-smart investments.”

As a core part of the firm’s sustainability offering, Hogan Lovells Impact Financing & Investing provides finance clients with best-in-market support in this mission-critical area, helping them to stay ahead in this rapidly evolving sector through delivering innovative, efficient and scalable solutions to the challenges facing the impact economy and creating strong, strategic partnerships and collaborations to drive change, develop the market and mobilise capital.

To review materials, be an observer or be part of second stage consultations for Aurora: The Gender Lens Project, click here. Consultations, feedback and views will be encouraged from financial institutions, investors, trade-bodies and international organisations.

Read more about the Project here.

About the 2X Challenge

The 2X Challenge was launched in June 2018 as a major new commitment of the development finance institutions (DFIs) from the G7 countries to unlock resources that will help advance women’s economic empowerment and gender equality. These DFIs have since been supporting investments and initiatives that provide women in developing countries with access to leadership opportunities, quality forms of employment, finance, enterprise support, as well as products and services that enhance the inclusion or economic participation of women and girls. Since the launch, additional DFI and MDB members have joined to expand the commitment.

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