Are women the key to a greener financial future?

Welcome to episode #16 of New Climate Capitalism, and today we’re talking about financial feminism.

My guest is Jessica Robinson, who’s just published a new book called “Financial Feminism: A Woman’s Guide To Investing for a Sustainable Future”.

Reading her book was a both a wake-up call, and a call to action for me personally. Everyone knows about the gender pay gap, and sadly, if you are a woman, you have experienced it. But the hurdles don’t end there. There’s also a savings gap, a pension gap, even a debt gap.

And That woman who spoke so brilliantly in the meeting? She may not be as self-confident about her finances. In fact, many women report feeling spoken down to when talking with a financial advisor, the majority of whom are men. 

However The good news is that women are holding more and more wealth globally, and a lot of this wealth is being channelled into sustainable investing.

Jessica’s book really inspired me to take a long hard look at my own approach to saving and investing, and I found our conversation tremendously empowering. I do hope you enjoy it.

Jessica Robinson is the Founder and Managing Director of Moxie Futurethe world’s first insights, education and community platform empowering women as responsible, sustainable and impactinvestors. As well as running Moxie Future, Jessica works as a strategic advisor to institutional investors, think tanks and governments on all things relating to green finance, sustainability,responsible investmentand gender.

Prior to this, Jessica was Head of Asia for the United Nationssupported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), following a long stint as Chief Executive and Board Director of theAssociation for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA), one of Asia’s leading think tanks working to promote sustainable finance and responsible investment across the region. She also led theAsia Investor Group on Climate Changeand played an active leadership role in theGlobal Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA)and theGlobal Investor Coalition on Climate Change (GIC).

Jessica has an extensive background in professional services and business consulting, focusing on financial services, environmental finance and sustainability industries. She frequently contributes articles, authors reports and speaks at conferences on issues including green financing, financial market developments, climate finance policy, broader sustainable finance issuesas well as gender.

She recently published a book on sustainable investing entitled ‘Financial Feminism: A Woman’s Guide To Investing For a Sustainable Future’. Jessica has lived and worked in the UK, North America, Asia (China and Hong Kong) and is now based in the UAE.

She holds an MSc in Applied Environmental Economics from the University of London, an MSc in Politics from the London School of Economics and a BA in Economics from the University of Manchester, UK. She also holds a Professional Diploma in Financial Management from the ACCA and the FT PostGraduate Diploma for NonExecutive Directors.


It’s more than just financial equality. It’s more than just women earning and investing on a par with men.

It’s about how do we empower women to use their wealth? To create the kind of world that they want to live in.

Denise: Welcome to episode #16 of New Climate Capitalism, and today we’re talking about financial feminism.

My guest is Jessica Robinson, who’s just published a new book called “Financial Feminism: A Woman’s Guide To Investing for a Sustainable Future”.

Reading her book was a both a wake-up call, and a call to action for me personally. Everyone knows about the gender pay gap, and sadly, if you are a woman, you have experienced it. But the hurdles don’t end there. There’s also a savings gap, a pension gap, even a debt gap.

And That woman who spoke so brilliantly in the meeting? She may not be as self-confident about her finances. In fact, many women report feeling spoken down to when talking with a financial advisor, the majority of whom are men. 

However The good news is that women are holding more and more wealth globally, and a lot of this wealth is being channelled into sustainable investing.

Jessica’s book really inspired me to take a long hard look at my own approach to saving and investing, and I found our conversation tremendously empowering. I do hope you enjoy it.

Denise: today, uh, we are talking about financial feminism and I am here with Jessica Robinson. She is the author of a brand new book, uh, called Financial Feminism. And she founded and runs Moxie future, which is the world’s first platform that empowers women as sustainable investors. So welcome, Jessica.

Jessica: Hi. Thank you, Denise.

Denise: Uh, so could you introduce yourself briefly and tell us, uh, where the idea for this book came from? I really love the title. 

Jessica: Sure. So I, um, I’m an old timer in the sort of sustainable finance, responsible investment world, in that I’ve been around or in this space for about 15 years or so.

And, uh, which, which is funny because it makes me an old timer
So a lot of my work has been with institutional investors, governments, regulators, and so on, really trying to develop. Uh, sustainable finance frameworks and regulation, and really how we can drive the industry. But one thing that struck me through all of that process was the number of women, say, I was speaking at an event that would come up to me afterwards and say, look, sustainable investing is really fascinating.

Where can we learn more? And so I sort of started looking into this into researching women as investors and even more women as sustainable investors. 

And what I found was that. First, there was limited research out there, but the research that was there was very conclusive around how women are highly motivated to consider impact and their societal role, both in terms of their money and their consumer behaviours, but also as investors and through their investment choices.

So I really dug deep and I thought, well, there’s really something in this, but at the same time, we’ve got this challenge that many women just don’t feel comfortable with the financial industry. For example, a lot of women report feeling uncomfortable in discussions with financial advisors. They feel that banks don’t speak to them and so forth.

And so I decided to, to take some time and sort of pursue this hobby of really trying to empower women to think about investment decisions. But more than that to think about sustainability and impact when they make those investment decisions. And really what easier way to start to do that is through a very simple, easy, accessible, and practical guide, which is essentially what the book is.

Denise: Right. So let’s, um, let’s talk about financial feminism. Um, first of all, what is it and why does it matter? 

Jessica: Sure. So, I mean, I have to say, you know, any discussion, it seems when we talk about women and money, is this quite emotive it’s quite complex obviously. And it’s multifaceted. 

I think financial, that feminism is really important, you know, as with all things related to feminism, we’re talking about equality. 

And obviously in this case, we’re talking about the belief in the financial equality of women. And there was so many reasons why this matters and I’m not going to spell out the obvious, but there’s the very famous, uh, Gloria Steinem quote, which I’m, which I love, which she says we will never solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth.

And I, and I think, I think for me, this certainly underpins my passion because when we look sort of across the financial world and, and, and when we think about money, there were so many inequalities and, uh, when it comes, comes to money and women, I mean, obviously the gender pay gap is the big one and that has received a huge amount of attention, but women also face a range of other gaps.

You know, we have pension gaps. We’re basically not putting enough into our pension funds when obviously that’s compounded by the fact that women tend to live longer. There are savings gaps. Uh, there even debt gaps, you know, in some instances, research has shown that women pay more for certain types of debt.

Uh, and of course, obviously there’s the funding gap. We talk a lot about female founders, business founders finding it so difficult to receive that sort of initial VC funding. So I really believe, you know, that anybody that cares about feminism really, we need to grapple with these issues that touch on financial feminism.

And so I think the good news in all of this, there are some really positive trends and I believe it’s these trends that give us the potential to move forward. The first one being women actually now. Own a significant chunk of the world’s wealth. It’s estimated it’s around 30 to 35% of global private wealth is held by women.

And obviously this is expected to grow quite significantly. The exciting thing as well is that this is increasingly self-generated. So women are now considered economic powerhouses. We create, we control and we influence a huge amount of wealth. Uh, the second trend then is obviously, as I mentioned at the beginning of this, um, this association with, with women considering the bigger picture, there’s been some research and actually my company Moxie Future, we undertook a global survey of women in different countries, China, Germany, the UK, Australia, and the US really to try and ascertain to what extent women are thinking about impact. And we found that almost 80% feel that we urgently need to act in order to create a better world and almost 70% feel it’s important that their investments and savings decisions reflect those personal values and philosophies.

And so that, that to me really links back into this discussion on financial feminism. You know, we know, and we believe that women have a right to financial equality, but actually. I believe, and this is what I assert throughout the book is that it’s more than just financial equality. It’s more than just women earning and investing on a par with men.

It’s about how do we empower women to use their wealth? To create the kind of world that they want to live in. We don’t, we want women to invest more. Sure, absolutely. But we also want to support them to invest more consciously to really think about how we give women as investors, that voice to determine how the world should change for the better.

And ultimately, that’s why I focus on sustainable investing because that is that’s sort of the end goal of sustainable investing. 

Denise: Right. I wonder, um, I just want to dig into that a little bit. Um, one of the, so, so I read your book and, um, this thing about the, um, the pension gap, uh, was really quite something because, um, uh, you know, I, I know I, myself, um, Uh, have not looked at this enough.

And I felt that this and other examples like this throughout your book, they were really sort of wake up calls, um, to me as a woman who has never really paid a lot of attention to investing, uh, as such. And, um, um, what is the reason for the, the pension gap specifically? And, um, It seems like it must be something really important because you know, pension funds and the power to redirect those huge sums of money is actually a big factor in sustainable investing.

Jessica: Hmm. Um, I mean, on the pension gap specifically, it’s very difficult to give a sort of generalized reason because obviously every different market, every different country has different pension regulations have different systems and so forth. I mean, there are obviously  the clear ones because in many countries, women are earning less, so they’re putting less aside.

Um, they may have been obviously more in the informal workforce. Uh, therefore not paying into a pension fund if they’re not receiving it through formal employment. Um, and over the years, There’s just been less emphasis on, on women really grasping that the ownership of, of both the savings, but also the investment and investment side of that.

So I think, I think, I think it is very challenging. It’s very hard to say there are sort of X, Y, Z reasons for this, but it’s certainly something, as you say, you know, these pension funds are. Directing huge, huge amounts of assets and capital to work towards whatever that whatever the investment opportunities are.

And so the more we can engage women in their pension funds, uh, the better. And actually one of the things that I tried to highlight in the book is, is. As you decide to become a sustainable investor. One of the great places to start is actually auditing yourself. So looking at the investments you have and finding out where they’re invested, what companies they’re invested in so forth, am I, I quite often tell this story.

When I lived in Hong Kong, I participated in what they call the mandatory pension scheme. So every employer had to provide a certain amount. It was a government run pension fund. And, and so I remember dutifully ticking the green fund investment box thinking, Oh, that’s fine.

Um, at least I know my money’s going into green and clean. And about two years later, I took, I actually took the time to investigate what that fund was specifically holding and actually its largest holdings, a large American investment bank who actually funds a huge amount of coal development in Southeast Asia.

And the reason they qualified to be in that fund is because obviously as an investment bank, their use of resources are low. Really their, their carbon footprint exists around travel and paper-use, and, and to me that was like, here, am I actually in this industry? And I’ve fallen in for that sort of greenwashing and I’ve ticked a box thinking I was doing the right thing, but you dig below the surface and you find that actually the fund you’re investing in is not the kind of companies I wanted to be investing in.

Denise: And I think this gets into, um, the issue of, uh, because I’ve had a similar experience when you start asking a couple of questions, um, because the system isn’t necessarily set up for women, um, it’s quite easy to get discouraged, um, uh, to give up to, uh, just, you know, not want to spend huge amounts of energy, trying to break through those barriers.

You mentioned in your book and when we talked that, uh, Um, that just simply at the level of marketing and language, uh, visual communications, the towards men and women, um, are done in a, in a very sort of gendered way.

Jessica: Absolutely. And one thing I do in the book is really tried to unpack this issue of, of the financial industry and how, how they engage with women as, as clients, as investors. And, and, you know, there’s so much research, which, uh, which talks about how uncomfortable women feel, as I mentioned before, about speaking with their financial advisors. They feel condescended to spoken down to, um, and that fascinating research that came out, uh, from Starling bank, which looks at advertising and marketing efforts from financial institutions, towards both men and women and for men. and the evidence was overwhelming for men. So many of the adverts talked about proving your manhood, your, your taking risks, you’re being strong.

Whereas when we talk to women about money, we’re talking about saving and putting money aside for a new handbag. And I was just absolutely astounded at how we do this. And this is what we’ve been doing for years and years and years. And we sort of a gender communicating to people about money and the damage that must be doing to us, you know, as investors as, and as we think about actually empowering ourselves when it comes to our investment decisions. 

Denise: Hm. So, um, let’s talk about sustainable investing, uh, you know, w what is it? And, um, you know, what, what sort of gender angles should we be aware of there? 

Jessica: Sure. So, and I think, you know, I mean, again, the way I’ve tried to position my book is very introductory and, and very, um, chatty in a way, because I do think I want to unpack a lot of the myths and the lingo, et cetera, because there’s so much of that floating around in the financial industry.

So investing obviously has always been historically concerned with financial returns. That’s what was deemed the, the sort of objective of that. But over the last decade, we’ve obviously seen this growth in the concept of sustainable investing. When we look beyond those financial returns, um, there are now quite a few terms that, that people may have heard of so sustainable and responsible investment.

You may have heard of impact investing, even the word. Ethical, which I don’t particularly like the other one obviously is environmental, social and governance investing. And they’re all sort of the same, but there are all nuanced differences, but I would, I would say the commonality in all of these is the goal to achieve some kind of positive change in an area where the investor, whether that be institutional, or a retail investor believes in or the objective is to try to make change happen. And obviously those invariably have either a social and, or an environmental dimension. The very formal definition. And I’ll give this to you. I can’t recall exactly where it comes from. So sustainable, responsible and impact investing is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. 

So. Uh, I think what’s been, what’s been interesting in the last couple of years is this has really started to go mainstream. I mentioned at the beginning, you know, when I started out or I moved my career into sustainable finance, uh, I was very much in a minority, whereas now what’s happened in the last couple of years and, and it’s wonderful to see what’s happened in the last couple of years is this whole concept of sustainability within our financial markets has definitely gone, gone mainstream. 

Now, I think there’s quite a lot of reasons why, why that has happened. There’s obviously the moral imperative. You know, many people are looking at the way we have in some countries and some markets consumed at a rate that is simply unsustainable and, and the consequences are huge and apparent.

Issues like climate change. I think now more and more people accept and acknowledge the urgency at which we need to act on climate change. And, and I think part of that is, is really facing up to the reality that we, we are now seeing and thinking about the different ways we need to make change happen.

And at the same time, our sort of policy and political world has changed. Obviously. With the Paris Agreement in 2015, we now have a global carbon budget with which to work by, uh, the Sustainable Development Goals effectively give us some kind of world strategy, you know, in terms of objectives and what we need to be working on.

And all of this is happening. You know, against the background, particularly now of what’s happened through 2020, which we can talk about later, but as we actually start to place value on impacts that aren’t necessarily monetary or directly related to financial gain. Um, and again, I do like to give. Quotes, but there’s another one that I really, really like, which is this money is a construct and humans came up with it.

It was a way to organize our economy in our societies, but it’s not an end in itself. It really has always been a means to create the world that we want to live in. And I think, I think that’s the crux of sustainable investing for me using our money to create that kind of world that we want to live in.

And it’s aligned with our. All values and beliefs.

In terms of the, the gender dimensions, uh, for sustainable investing. Obviously I spoke at the beginning around the role of women as investors and the high level of motivation we’re seeing in different markets, you know, as, as women do come into more wealth and become more proactive and confident with our investments decisions, we do see this very high level of motivation to think about sustainability and impact in those decisions.

Uh, the other thing actually, it’s more anecdotal, which. I don’t know, Denise, you may appreciate, but I look to the sustainable finance world and I see so many phenomenal female leaders. And I just think that’s really fascinating because you look to the financial industry as a whole, and we know it’s very male dominated, but you take sustainable finance as a sort of  subset, but actually, you know, that there is such a high proportion of phenomenal women in, in the sustainable finance industry. 

Uh, the, the issue of diversity of course is important because diversity, and I’m not just talking about gender here and talking about all forms of diversity, forms a really critical element of the sustainable investing universe, because we know we have a lot of research now, which, which indicates that diversity in leadership teams, diversity and decision-making is critical for the success of a company. And, and so I think, um, I think now, you know, for many decision-makers for many institutional investors, diversity is no longer up for discussion.

It really is a no brainer. In terms of looking at risks and making investment decisions. Um, and then the final aspect that I just wanted to mention is sustainable investing that relates to gender as this whole concept of gender lens investing so effectively investing or making investment decisions that consider either the impact on women and girls of those decisions or seeking out companies that are led by women.

Um, and I find this a fascinating area. I have a chapter in my book specifically on it, because I do obviously a lot of women, you know, instinctively want to invest in other women. And it’s something I do in my personal life. I’m a very proactive gender lens investor because I get a great deal of joy out of proactively supporting female founders.

And what I find fascinating in the angel investing I do is, is the number of female founders that are coming up with new technologies and new products that really look to solve societal problems. Because I think many women as entrepreneurs think about what are, what are the problems the world is facing and, and how can we build products and services that solve that.

And, um, I do feel quite strongly about the whole area of, of gender lens investing. 

Denise: Wow. So, um, I think that that’s, uh, it’s really interesting. Um, just the idea that, you know, sort of, uh, women get it. Uh, many women like yourself may have been early movers into this space, uh, and now the spaces. You know, uh, redefining the space as it were.

Um, can we talk briefly about 2020? I mean, I know in many, many areas people said that, you know, the, the pandemic year, um, was simply an accelerator of already existing and underlying trends. Um, was this the case, um, in sustainable investing and in, um, you know, uh, feminist sustainable investing. 

Jessica: So, yeah, I mean, when 2020 sort of when the, when the, when COVID started to really hit and it was clear, the pandemic was spreading very quickly. Um, I have to say there was an immediate response sort of in my industry, in my community, which was fearful that what would happen to the sustainable finance and sustainable investing trajectory would be, would be to really damage it. And it would be several steps back for us because obviously governments, regulators, markets were moving very quickly to short term recovery plans. 

Actually what happened in reality was not that at all. Uh, what we’ve seen actually through 2020 is in investor demand for sustainable investment products, such as bonds and green bonds and so forth. It is still rising. And, uh, again, the evidence that came out of 2020 is that companies and funds, the ESG leaders, those that have strong sustainability strategies in place and are, are rated highly in terms of how they manage those ESG risks, those actual companies, and those funds have been more resilient through the challenges of 2020. And, and so that message to the broader market and to any of the sort of naysayers is actually here we have a global pandemic. And what we’re seeing is the resilience of these companies and these investment funds. So actually we now have increasing evidence that this is really the way, the way that we go. And I think, you know as we are in 2021, you know, we have to look back and think about the lessons that we learned and, and clearly its been a wake-up call on, on how interconnected we are, but also the inequalities that we face and how glaring these are.

Uh, and part of that, I think is some of the investor community really starting to hone in on things like social risks. So looking at these inequalities, whether it’s access to healthcare, education or so forth, um, and some of that started to translate through, into products, investment products.

We’ve seen a rise in demand. Issuance and demand of things like social bonds as well. Um, the other thing I think as well is it’s really shone a highlight on climate change. You know, climate change is the sort of next big systemic global risk around the corner. Um, and what we need to do is be much more prepared and that means we need to understand fully what these climate risks are within the investment portfolios.

We need to be reporting properly. We need to be transitioning and capital flows away from things like fossil fuel into clean energy. Uh, so the momentum that we’ve gathered in 2020 actually puts us in a pretty good position for 2021. And as we look forward, you know, I’m actually, I’m actually very hopeful.

Um, which I suppose is a nice message coming into 2021. 

Denise: Yeah, that’s great. It’s really, I love hearing people say they’re hopeful. Okay. So, uh, I’d like to talk with you and you deal with this brilliantly in your book on the how of sustainable investing. You acknowledge, you know, it’s not one of these business books that says, Oh, just follow these 10 steps.

And you know, Bob’s your uncle, you actually acknowledge, um, That it’s very hard to get started. Uh, I’ve had this experience myself. I’ve tried and given up very, very easily. Uh, you say that everyone should have a financial advisor. I always assume that, you know, below a certain threshold, it’s simply not worth it.

Can you talk us through how to get started for, you know, for every level of wealth, really. I mean, if it’s, um, starting from having just, uh, let’s say if you only had a hundred dollars or a hundred euros to put away every month, you know, w where does one begin to become a sustainable yeah.

Jessica: Yeah, and I, I do acknowledge and I’m being very realistic in that I don’t, people expect people to pick up the book, read it and go away and suddenly have a sort of sustainable investment strategy.

The reality is this is a new and evolving field and it’s not easy. And, uh, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, but that’s no reason not to do it. I do think that we have to start and, and I agree Denise, with your point about this. You know, is sustainable investing for the wealthy. And again, I actually, I called my bank a couple of years back and I’m saying, right, everything has to go into sustainable investing.

And essentially the person, the person on the end of the phone said, well, we’ll only talk to you if you have 5 million US dollars in assets. And I’m like, Are you serious? You know, and, and again, that sort of fed into my passion behind this book. It’s like, I’m sorry, sustainable investing can not only be for, for people with stacks of cash in the bank.

So with that, I think I really believe that. I should, I should add the caveat. I am not a financial advisor and I don’t work for a bank. I’m a sustainable finance expert. Um, what I say always taken and appreciate and, and speak to financial professionals or investment professionals before you make any, any decisions.

But I do believe you, you have to. And by doing so, you need to prioritize what you care about. And I know it’s easy to do that in our consumption decisions, much harder when we come to our financial. You can’t change the world overnight with sustainable investing. So, be focused on what, what you really want to start with, and I’ll give you an example.

So for me, climate change, I’m an environmental economist. Climate change is my priority when I make investment decisions. Then once you have that in your head, really thinking about how you translate that into your, what I call sustainable investment beliefs, but they’re essentially your personal philosophy and that can then guide your immediate, short to medium term decisions and what goals you want to set and so forth.

Of course, I think you need to figure out your boundaries. You know, some people want to go all in. Some people say, okay, I just want to allocate 10% of what I’ve got, or I want to find a very simple fund say in clean tech, that that accepts a minimum or whatever. So set your boundaries, you know, don’t be over ambitious and don’t be hard on yourself.

This is a tough field. It’s, you know, we need to change things. We need to change the industry. So be part of that journey. But don’t feel like it’s going to be something that you can switch on overnight. Of course, getting more educated, getting more empowered. There’s so much information out there now there’s so much, um, there’s also loads of online courses as well.

I’ve been really impressed over the last year. Obviously, as many people are using their time at home to, to study, uh, there’s now sort of a plethora of sustainable finance, sustainable investment courses and, um, definitely worth delving into those. Um, I think I mention a few of my book as well.

Auditing yourself. I talked about first looking through your pension plan and really figuring out where you’re currently invested and then using all of this information to go and push your financial advisor, speak with your bank, ask questions, send emails to your pension fund, you know, be empowered, use this information to really try and drive change.

Because I do sort of, I suppose, that’s the populism. And I believe that we use our voice to pressure that industry too, to make this easier for smaller investors like you and me, you know, the more we demand it, the more you ask these questions, these products will become available.

Then you need to really start action planning. How do you move from, from A to B? So make view commitments to yourself. For example, I’ll change the allocation in my current pension plan from this fund to this fund. So obviously when I found out about my green fund, uh, the biggest holding, being an investment fund, I, you know, I took action.

Use that information, speak with your pension plan provider about alternative fund options. Um, Go meet with a financial advisor. You know, there are many financial advisory firms now that are specifically looking for female clients, you know, because they do believe that this is an important growth area.

And, uh, and I think one thing that I really like that I didn’t find in my research is that women are much more likely to confer with their peers when making a decision. So this is a great opportunity to discuss your plan with your friends, your family, get their feedback. And, and also investment clubs.

Uh, one, one really cool thing is the number of female focused investment clubs that are cropping up. You know, if you can get involved in those. And if you can’t, can you start them? It’s not about, um, it’s not about a formal investment discussion. It’s about pooling resources, having discussions, working together, almost like a book club, but you know, working together as investors and sharing your information in your experiences.

Denise: So if I’m, I’m sitting here in France and I would love to find some female peers in this country that I can connect with on this, where should I start? 

Jessica: And you’re going to ask me that question. Well, you’ve already read my books. You’ve already read my book. And in there I’ve tried to flag as many investment networks, female focused investment networks as I can.

Um, so there are several popping up the U S definitely has as a fantastic network now growing. Obviously France is a tricky one, cause I, I don’t know the market enough. But I think, I think really starting to, to, to connect with some of those female focused investor networks.

And if it means setting up your own one, then I think that’s something to consider as well. 

Denise: Um, so you mentioned, um, being focused on the long-term goal. I think one of my longterm goals is to, um, I have a daughter, um, she’s turning 23. So I would like her to do a better job on all of this than I have done.

How can I support her, encourage her and model best practice for her and is for example, FinTech the answer. 

Jessica: Hmm. So it’s interesting. I have two teenage daughters and I’m going through something similar as well. In that again, I’m trying to role model and I try to have as many discussions as I possibly possibly can not just about money and saving money. You know, when you get your allowance, you save some, you spend some whatever, you know, all that good stuff, but, but deeper, more philosophical questions, discussions that I try to have with them around. Do you understand what investing is? What is the purpose of investing?

Are we building a world that we want to last for generations? What are our long-term ambitions? So as much as they resent me having these sort of deep and philosophical discussions around the dinner table, I think it’s really important. You know, it’s really important and that role modeling as well. I think, you know, I talk very openly about, about what’s important to me about the financial markets and about, you know, calling out when we talk about the advertising, how we speak to women about money, you know, so now they’re very aware of, of, of what we can, you know, the way that the market sometimes communicates with women.

And I do think, I think for me, the whole fintech field is really exciting. It’s not the answer, but it is the core component of the answer. You know, we’ve mentioned before about wealth management only being really accessible for those, with lots of cash in the bank. You know, those only those with 5 million have access to the private bankers.

But the exciting thing we’re seeing now is with all this technological advance, we can actually rewrite the definition of who can be included in the investment world. So, you know, not only do we have the potential to democratize who can invest, it also has the potential to decide how and where. Um, and so I think, I think fintech has massive implications for the world of sustainable investing.

Um, I think there’s really sort of certain aspects, obviously the opening up and democratizing because actually, you know, we’re seeing all these fantastic apps that are coming up that are making it very easy. To invest and to make investment decisions to manage your money. Um, so that obviously is opening up to many more women, many more young people as well.

Being able to put small amounts of money aside and allocate that, you know, through your phone. Facilitating access to sustainable investing in particular, receiving this sort of range of automated investment services, whether it’s robo-advisors, whether it’s providers of low-cost expect exchange, traded funds, they’re making sustainable investing much easier and accessible for everyday investors.

Um, and the other point, obviously with tech is that it’s improving transparency and access to information. So technology supporting that level of transparency across the financial and the corporate world. And ultimately that’s a good thing because it allows investors. And I don’t mean just the big institutional investors who have access to Bloomberg. I mean, retail investors like you and I. It allows us access to this data and information to make more informed decisions and for sustainable investors, the real-time information on, for example, sustainability performance of a company, um, it’s providing us with good data and indicators that we can use to, to make more informed decisions.

Um, and then the aspect about tech and women, I think that’s very interesting is that, you know, we can actually leverage tech to support more women. Uh, in, in terms of how they engage with the financial industry. You know, if you think about it tech can actually provide, uh, a pathway to circumvent the financial advisors that are women might not want to spend an afternoon with.
It provides platforms, you know, to your point, Denise, about how we connect with other female investors. You know, tech now provides platforms for us to connect and communicate in different ways from the past and, and all that is changing the nature of communication and the relationships and the customization of services that are, that are really the best fit for women today.

Um, and in the future as well. Um, I suppose my only, my only words of caution with fintech is that I do believe that human and human advice will always play a critical role. And I think particularly where sustainable investing, you know, you can’t automate everything because sustainable investing does require quite a lot of consideration and there’s always going to be the need for due diligence as well. Um, what I found, I suppose, you know, I mentioned these apps that, that have been coming on and I know, you know, w we need to bring more customers. Cause I know some of them. I struggled to bring enough customers or enough critical mass.

And I think, I think that is a challenge. Um, but hopefully we can overcome. Um, but again, I think it really comes down to the opportunity of how we can customize all these tech solutions, not only for women, but also for sustainable investors. 

Denise: Hmm. I like that a lot. That’s really, really hopeful message as well.

So Jessica, uh, definitely I would highly recommend this book to, uh, anyone who’s listening, Financial Feminism. Uh, could you also tell us, I mean, if people want to follow through, on all of the things and the resources you’ve mentioned, uh, where should they go to learn more?

Jessica: Sure. So, I mean, firstly connect with me on LinkedIn.

I love LinkedIn as a platform for, um, communicating and for, for building communities. Uh, our website Moxie, future.com has a whole host of information. We regularly blog include articles, research and so forth to really, you know, I talked about getting educated and getting empowered. That’s a great place to go.

Um, Read the book and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Nice. It was a lot of fun, fun to write. And I think the more conversations that that we have with, with our networks about how important sustainable investing is how we can use our money as levers of changes. I think it’s really, really important because you know, it is, it is becoming a very topical discussion.

Denise: Terrific. Thank you very much.

Jessica: Thank you 

Denise: That’s it for this episode, thanks for listening to New Climate Capitalism. If you want to connect with Jessica, or find out more about her book and her work, you can find her on Linked In, and go to the episode show notes on our website, climatenarratives.co for links to her website and information about her work.

If you’re enjoying this season of the podcast, I’d like to remind you to sign up for our newsletter, climate narratives annotated. It goes deeper on some of the issues we cover in the podcast, and provides monthly highlights from green and sustainable finance. You can find the link to subscribe in the bio of our Twitter account @NewClimateCap.

A big thanks to Valentine Scherer and Victoria Yates for their help producing this episode, and to Lucas Laufen for the theme music.

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