by Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest and former Head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
One thing I hear loud and clear from our community of female investors at Ellevest is the desire to help each other during this crisis. Some of us will donate our time, others our money. I think there’s another thing to consider doing: continue to shift capital to investments that are better for women. Because as we come out of this crisis, the same global issues that existed before COVID-19 will exist afterward — and in some cases, in a more pronounced way.
More than ever, it is important to invest in women. Since the early days at Ellevest, we’ve been big proponents of sustainable investing, with a particular focus on gender lens investing. We’ve always believed at the leadership level that investing in women is the right thing to do, but it’s also been a big ask directly from our community. This is not surprising, given that 85 percent of investors say they are interested in investing with their values. And so we’ve done the work to make these opportunities accessible via our digital platform (which has no investment minimum) and to our private wealth management clients.
My view of gender lens investing has expanded as access to company data has expanded. Early gender lens investing in a public equity portfolio was measured by looking at women in leadership in public companies. Today, we continue to know that having more women in leadership is better for women (and for a company’s bottom line); but we also know that climate change disproportionately impacts women. And that firearms play a significant role in domestic violence, which harms women more often than it does men. It’s important to go wider and deeper — because women worldwide face greater risk and bias in their everyday lives. When companies have harmful business practices around things like wage gaps, poor working conditions, and unsustainability — they affect all of us, but they affect women more.
The interconnectedness of these issues leads us at Ellevest to conclude that you can’t invest sustainably without investing in women, and you can’t invest in women without investing sustainably.
Our gender lens investing strategy at Ellevest reflects this thinking. We still look to shift capital to public companies ranked highly for advancing and supporting women in the workforce. But we also look for public companies whose policies and practices have been shown to be better for women. We’re looking at labor relations, human rights, exploitative products, and even water sources — to name a few.
Read Sallie's full article and impressive Bio here - https://greenmoney.com/why-investing-in-women-is-crucial-right-now
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