Despite a Tough Year, Women Are Still the Future of Sustainable Investing

Dec 21, 2022 8:10 AM ET

Despite a Tough Year, Women are Still the Future of Sustainable Investing

by Leah Cantor, Sustainability Associate at Longview Asset Management

As a woman who is passionate about gender equity and fighting climate change, the last year has been a roller coaster. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis in Europe has led to a renewed global emphasis on oil and gas production, and despite the billions of dollars allocated to renewable energy infrastructure in the Inflation Reduction Act passed by congress in August, the transition to a carbon neutral economy seems further out of reach than it did just a year ago. In my opinion, the reversal of Roe v. Wade set women in the United States back decades, and around the world, progress towards equal rights for women has slowed.

As an investor who cares about the social and environmental impacts of my financial decisions and as an employee at LongView Asset Management – an advisory firm that helps clients align their investments with their values – I’ve felt the anxiety of watching the market slide into its worst year since the financial crisis of 2008. ESG investments underperformed the broader market due to many sustainable funds’ heavy reliance on technology stocks and exclusion of fossil fuel stocks, which have soared in value as the world scrambles to secure near-term energy resources.

Over the last year, sustainable investing also weathered attacks from all sides of the ideological spectrum, with environmentalists calling out the financial industry for greenwashing, while right-wing politicians in a growing number of states denounce ESG investing as “woke capitalism” and pursue legislation aimed at boycotting financial institutions accused of undermining the fossil fuel industry.

Despite all the chaos, I feel strongly that now is a critical moment for women to take control of their finances and the direction of ESG investing.

Read Leah's full article here -