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The GEM Self-Assessment

MEDA is pleased to invite companies to participate in a value creation opportunity. The Gender Equality Mainstreaming (GEM) self-assessment assists companies to identify viable opportunities that improve women’s inclusion in business operations while promoting business growth and increased opportunities for investment.

What is the GEM self-assessment?

The GEM self-assessment measures a company’s performance on gender equality mainstreaming across environmental, social and governance (ESG) components. Designed for companies to complete themselves, the self-assessment builds upon the ESG investment standard by mainstreaming gender across a range of ESG criteria. The self-assessment is made up of three surveys, with each survey asking gender-specific questions about one of the ESG components.

Please note that we also offer a comprehensive and multi-faceted GEM Framework as a separate resource that serves as a practical guide and toolkit for assessing gender equality, identifying potential gender mainstreaming initiatives and implementing them within a company.

Why do the self-assessment?

MEDA and other industry players have found that increasing women as customers, staff, suppliers, managers, and board members can create sustainable long-term business growth and impact. For instance, MEDA analyzed its investment partners’ 180+ portfolio companies and found a positive financial outperformance for companies with above average female representation at all levels of the company including board and senior management. The GEM self-assessment assists businesses to identify these types of value creation opportunities that can improve a company’s standing among its competitors.

"The GEM online self-assessment offers a low-cost, easy-to-use and immediate first step for institutions to gain insight into their performance on gender issues. It is wide-ranging and thought-provoking and can be an effective tool for management teams as they think about process improvements to attract, retain, promote and reward female talent.” – CJ Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Why mainstream gender in environmental, social and governance?

The ESG standard is widely used by investors and capacity builders as a way to sustain a company’s competitive advantage (Morgan Stanley, 2017) while contributing to impact. Researchers have found a correlation between companies with high ESG integration and those that are well-managed and profitable (Friede, Busch and Bassen, 2015). It is not surprising that a growing number of commercial and impact investors are integrating ESG as a standard for companies that have or might receive investment. According to the CFA Institute, 73% of portfolio managers and research analysts take ESG issues into account in their investment analysis and decisions (CFA Institute, 2017). In this rapidly evolving investment climate, businesses that integrate ESG are well-positioned to attract investors. However in current applications of ESG, gender is often underleveraged because it is pigeonholed in the ‘social’ component of ESG. Consequently, the GEM self-assessment mainstreams gender across all three ESG components to maximize business growth and impact.

How to complete the self-assessment?

  1. Enter your name and email address in the form below (all fields required):

    Please provide your first name

    Please provide your first name

    Please provide your last name

    Please provide a valid email address

    Please click box

  2. The GEM self-assessment is made up of three surveys. As such, you will receive three emails, each with a link to one of the three ESG component surveys. Before starting a survey, please review the GEM Self-Assessment Guidance Document.
  3. Complete all three surveys, starting with Part I. Each survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete and may be filled out by a representative from the company’s executive team and/or Human Resources Manager.
  4. Upon completing a survey, you will receive an email with your company’s results and score for that particular ESG component.
  5. Based on your company’s score for the particular ESG component, review the recommended gender strategies for your company. There are different gender strategies recommended for each ESG component.

Questions or comments?

Please send an email to Devon and Carl at and

References cited

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Survey. (2017). CFA Institute. Retrieved from

Friede, Busch and Bassen (2015). ESG and financial performance: aggregated evidence from more than 2000 empirical studies. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 5(4), 210-233. Retrieved from

Morgan Stanley (2017). ESG and the Sustainability of Competitive Advantage. Retrieved from ainabilityofcompetitiveadvantage_en.pdf