Each month, we highlight individuals who are driving progress towards gender equality within our Working Group Member Community. This month our focus is on Gerald Evelyn, an impact investing practitioner who is also a first generation American.
Gerry Evelyn. Managing Director at Artesian Capital Management
Gerry’s parents immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago and childhood reinforced some important lessons that Gerry carried forward to adulthood. Chief among that was the power of success and how that could be channeled to help other people.
Gerald spent more than 20 years as a professional in the finances services field becoming an expert on publicly and privately traded markets. Gerald’s mother was a constant source of inspiration as one of the longest-tenured professionals in her own career.
How Did Your Mother Influence Your Own Values
“My mother viewed excellence as a floor for performance,” Gerry says. “I’ve found that in others too, including individuals within the SheSyndicate Working Group I am a part of. That’s a big part of what inspired me to join the Steering Committee for the SheSyndicate Institutional Gender Lens Investing Working Group.
How Has Inequality Impacted You and Your Desire for a Legacy?
“Generally speaking, inequality is something I have faced throughout my life in terms of racial, social, and economic issues. I saw a lot of inequality in the financial services space, especially when it came to gender. This is when I came back to that idea of excellence as a baseline. I chose to marry that with my intense desire to affect change.”
Where Do You Think There’s Potential For the Greatest Impact with Gender Inequality?
“Sharing my personal experiences really solidified the desire to level the playing field in the corporate workplace or to help provide more opportunities for those who were less likely to have access. The Women’s Economic Empowerment Bond Fund (one of the key initiatives born from our Working Group) is a great example of driving the change that needs to happen to help with gender inequality.
“Meritocracy, unfortunately, is not something that’s available to everyone. I think the more we can acknowledge that, the better we’ll be set up for the future. The challenges that I faced along the way inspired me to look for ways to improve the experience for the better.”
What Impact Would You Like to Have in the Fund?
“I’d like to be a meaningful contributor to a multi-billion dollar fund that positively impacts gender lines in both public and private markets in the developed and developing regions of the world. This, too, impacts racial equity issues.”
If You Could Wave a Magic Wand in the Workplace to Make it an Equitable Landscape, What Would That Look Like?
“I’d love to see excellence as a baseline becoming the norm and meritocracy fully benefiting everyone. I also want to see change in the way business is conducted. Usually this entails some form of quantitative data analysis. Now we have access to more data than ever that we can use to drive change.
Awareness has been building in the investment community showing that relative outperformance is statistically significant and I think if we continue along that path, this could lead to a marriage to credit standpoint. I think ESG is here to stay and this will be the proverbial Trojan horse to lessen existing inequity.”
What is the One Piece of Advice You Would Give to other Champions of Change, leading the charge within their organizations and communities?
“The one piece of advice I return to again and again is the idea of perseverance. Even learning from disappointments is critical for success; it’s picking yourself up again from these experiences and knowing how to move forward. To the survivor goes the spoils, as they say.”