Inclusion of broader values has attracted a more gender-diverse community, which in turn continues to normalize a more diverse image of an entrepreneur, while also normalizing due diligence questions that go beyond the bottom line. If we are to be truly successful in our social finance movement, this virtuous cycle must continue to expand the community at the table. Representation by women should reach 50%, and we must see progress in more ethnic and racial diversity as well as a diversity of backgrounds beyond finance if we are to achieve an inclusive and sustainable economy.
Why does expanding what matters matter? It is common sense, as well as standard economic understanding, that more information leads to better decision-making. To continue to insist that one can grow a successful, long-term business with blinders on, oblivious to broader perspectives and environmental and social externalities, is folly. In this age of greater customer expectation and transparency, blinders increase risk and miss opportunity. More perspectives, whether informed by gender, ethnicity, or life experience, bring critical value to the decision-
making. Yes, taking the blinders off is more complicated, but it is ultimately more rewarding and necessary in our quest for a sustainable economy.