Equileap’s two co-founders have a significant experience in private and public philanthropy, specialising in women’s rights. Diana worked as Director of Development at the world’s oldest international women’s fund, Mama Cash, before setting up her own philanthropic consultancy in Amsterdam. Jo was the first Director of the Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Founding Director of the Ariadne Network, two leading organisations supporting humans rights in London.
Diana’s move to set up philantrophy services at ABN AMRO got her working alongside bankers and investment managers, and led her to ask if it might be possible to bring the power of investing into efforts to improve the position of women and girls. At the same time, Jo was watching the explosive growth of the social-impact investing movement, where returns to the investor can be measure in two ways, in terms of financial gains realised and social change achieved. This was unlocking much greater sums of money: but could the methodology be adapted to work on a problem like gender equity in the workplace? A catch-up call in 2015 led to a firm commitment from Diana and Jo to join forces to develop a new model to take a real leap towards gender equality.
Others quickly joined in this vision and are helpingto build a new movement for investing in a future where gender equality is the norm.