The Case for Investing in Women

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been posting statistics on women’s economic impact. To recap just a few:

  • 73% of buying decisions in the US are made by women.
  • Women control decision-making for $11 trillion of investable assets.
  • 80-90% of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives.
  • Companies with three or more women on their boards of directors, vs. companies with zero women on their boards, have 84% better return on sales, 60% better return on capital, and 46% higher return on equity.
  • Just 16% of corporate board positions and only 3% of chairmanships in the US are held by women.
  • Women hold 5.2% of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

In brief, women are economic powerhouses, yet are underrepresented in company leadership. What if there were a way to invest in those companies who are in the lead in this area?

Perhaps even more interesting are survey results showing how women view money and wealth differently. Here’s a quote that sums it up:

Women differ from men in how they perceive wealth. They see wealth providing them with financial security and independence, just as men do. But once these priorities are met, women look to wealth to provide a larger basket of goods, not just for themselves and their families, but also for society at large.” (Center for Talent Innovation, “Harnessing the Power of the Purse”)

When women are financially secure, they focus on improving their communities. This is also born out in philanthropic efforts – many charities recognize that focusing on economic opportunity for women has a multiplier effect, improving the lives of others as well.

This parallels my personal passion and professional focus – empowering women to make wise financial decisions so they can control their future. Step one is to be very clear on what is most important, what we are trying to achieve. What is your money for? What do you want it to do for you? Only then can we move to the question of how to put the money to work.

The common thread is aligning our money and financial decisions with our values. Can we do that with our investments? With our charitable giving? With our own financial planning? Then we can have impact far beyond the dollars and cents.

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