Gender equality is a fundamental issue of justice. In the U.S., full-time female workers earn $10,000 less than men: that’s simply not fair. At the same time, the business case for gender balance is now impossible to ignore. RobecoSam’s 2017 gender equality report finds that, consistent with the growing body of academic research, “gender diversity and equality contribute to better corporate performance and investment returns.”
To create value for their portfolios and the world by promoting gender equality, mutual funds can do more than just invest in companies with strong policies and practices. Fund managers have the power to advocate at companies they own to improve their gender balance, and they have a track record of success.
Mainstream Support for Diversity in Leadership
On International Women’s Day in 2017, State Street Global Advisors introduced a statue of a fearless girl, standing strong on Wall Street. The third largest money manager in the world, State Street followed up its installation by sending letters to 600 companies with all-male boards of directors, and voted against members of their boards absent change. Since the letter, and the work of many other investors and interest groups, more than 300 companies have added a female board director in response More…