Unleashing the Greatest Period of Economic Growth with Gender Equality

by Kelly Eisenhardt
Jun 25, 2015 1:30 PM ET


Ten years of research on gender diversity suggests that providing more opportunities for women increases a company’s market performance and unleashes untapped economic value. Aligning global gender equality initiatives with private sector goals has the potential to advance the position of women in business. 

Joe Keefe is President and CEO of Pax World Management LLC. He is a UN-recognized advocate for women’s equality and implements change by encouraging investors to align their investments with their values by supporting global organizations that promote the empowerment and advancement of women. In partnership with Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevate Asset Management, Joe launched The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, the first U.S. mutual fund focused solely on investing in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women. He is the recipient of the United Nations’ 2014 Women's Empowerment Principles Leadership Award - Business Case for Action. 

Why is it important for companies to take gender equality issues into account when directing resources and opportunities?

It’s a moral and economic imperative to take gender equality issues seriously. It doesn’t make sense to discriminate against half the world’s population nor is it feasible to disregard so much untapped business value.

Over the last ten years, a compelling body of research has emerged regarding the impact of women in business and more specifically the placement of women on boards. It’s been proven, companies with women serving on their board outperform companies whose boards are less diverse. Research suggests diversity matters to the bottom line. 

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Kelly Eisenhardt is Co-Founder and Managing Director at BlueCircle Advisors, an environmental compliance and sustainability consulting and training firm based in Massachusetts (www.bluecircleadvisors.com.)  In her role at BlueCircle Advisors, she is responsible for providing business intelligence, strategy and implementation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk programs.  Her experience aligns well with her client’s needs for technology, compliance, and sustainability expertise by helping companies create and manage their corporate environmental and social responsibility programs. She specializes in strategy, planning, and reporting for Conflict Minerals, RoHS, and REACH. She is also a member of the Corporate Responsibility Association and participates in the Ratings and Rankings, as well as Responsible Supply Chain committees.