A survey of impact investors  by the Global Impact Investment Network found that a third of respondents explicitly target gender equality as an impact theme, and with good reason. Investing in women isn’t a noble act of charity, but a great business opportunity. A new study from consultant Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network found that private equity and venture capital funds with impact missions produce about the same returns as funds for which the goal is simply high returns.

 Marianne Haahr, director of the Global Opportunity Network, shared with me five ways you can invest in women, and how this helps the world.

4. Invest in leadership “Women in leadership positions are role models for the next generation, but we have to do more to get them there,” Haahr says. In addition to seeking out companies that target women as beneficiaries, it’s easy to invest in women by choosing those that have good internal policies on gender, and are led by women. This is great for giving women the backing they need to flourish in leadership roles, and research by Mckinsey also shows that it’s also great for business – companies with gender diversity outperformed those who don’t by as much as 15 percent. Another report showed that Fortune 500 companies with at least three female directors saw a return on invested capital increase by at least 66 percent. “Ask fund managers for options that are led by women, and make it clear it’s one of your key investment criteria”Haahr says. It’s clearly an untapped market, as a findings show that only 2.7 percent of VC funding goes to female-led companies at the moment.

Check out: Tools available through Women’s World Banking, and the work of Wedu