When it comes to gender equality, corporate America still has a long way to go, and according to a number of studies, that’s stifling growth. A 2015 study by McKinsey found that true gender equality could boost global GDP by $28 trillion a year. That same year, a Grant Thornton study found that companies with women in executive roles outperformed those without by around 2 percent annually.Some investment services firms are trying to address the problem by embracing what’s known as “gender lens investing.” The idea is to get investors to put their money into companies that advance gender equality.
Andrew Behar, head of As You Sow, a San Francisco Bay-area shareholders advocacy group, said putting women in positions of power is simply good for business.
“It really creates a better culture that's going to reduce risk. That's going to attract the best and the brightest talent,” he said.
Behar’s organization offers a free online tool that allows investors to review the gender equity scores of mutual funds. For example, whether the companies in the fund are selecting and keeping women on boards and promoting equal pay.