Advancing Women Through Sustainable Investing

Advancing Women Through Sustainable Investing

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Jennifer Coombs, CFFP

Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 8:05am

CONTENT: Article

by Jennifer Coombs, associate professor at the College for Financial Planning and the founder of the financial blog, GradMoney. She is the creator, lead author, and lead instructor for the Chartered SRI Counselor™ (CSRIC™) designation program

Although we are two decades into the 21st Century, there is still not much discernible difference between the demographics of the financial services sector compared to forty years ago. One could argue that the main difference between now and then, is why women are taking a far more active role in the financial services space, both as advisors and investors. The rise of sustainable, responsible and impact investing strategies, has led many firms and their investors to seriously question the importance and prominence of gender diversity in leadership positions. Although the financial services sector is still very much a male-dominated industry, considerations regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have provided an avenue to bring more women to the table. 

While it should not be too shocking that a society where all participants can actively contribute to the economy will grow and thrive, there are still quite a few skeptics as to what kind of importance gender diversity would provide for corporate profitability. Many research studies have been conducted in recent years making the business case that providing a level playing field and expanding employment and leadership opportunities for women not only improves societies but also drives a more sustainable economy. 

Don Phillips, managing director at Morningstar, summed up the use of ESG Investing quite nicely when he said “ESG is a great and powerful movement, not because it rights some wrong inherent in business, but because it removes obstacles that keep people from investing.”  If you want to bring more investors to the table, you simply make the table longer.  

Read Jennifer's insightful article here -