This surge in economic output proves greater balance isn’t a women’s issue, but a business value issue. The race for gender-balanced boardrooms, gender-balanced governments, and gender-balanced opportunities of all varieties underscores the growing importance #BalanceforBetter plays in shaping our communities, culture and economic prosperity.
It’s hard to believe Fearless Girl was introduced just two years ago. The image of a 50 inch girl staring down Charging Bull sent shockwaves across Wall Street and beyond. Since, she’s been reproduced in Oslo, Cape Town, and just last week, Melbourne, Australia. Her growing global appeal highlights more than just the social benefits of diversity for cultural reasons, but how the diversity of thought improves performance outcomes as well. Research by Morningstar underscores a growing trend throughout the asset management industry: funds with higher concentrations of female managers can do better than funds run exclusively by men or by mixed gender groups2.
With ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) moving from the niche to the mainstream, retail and institutional investor alike are reexamining the drivers of investment value. Investors tailoring their portfolios to drive positive social and environmental change continues to gather momentum. This is carrying over into specific programs to foster greater gender diversity. This diversity isn’t the promotion of one gender over another, but rather, the exploration of how genders—through a balance in representation and inclusion—can expand points of view and add value in a range of contexts.
The past two decades have seen the industry take meaningful strides in reaching for #BalanceforBetter. Today, according to Mercer, women make up nearly 46% of financial services employees. While Morningstar estimates less than 5% of investment funds are run by female managers, as of this February, three of the world’s top 15 asset managers are now led by women. Workplace diversity and equality gaps remain, but progress is being made.
Women are now the primary breadwinner in a record 40% of U.S. households with children. Be it the labor market, office, or home front, women are a force of positive change. The micro and macro business case for gender diversity is only going to grow louder. Professional investors and everyday savers are both positioning their strategies to tap the gender advantage. Regardless of your motivation for considering gender diversity, evidence is increasingly pointing to the many the social and economic benefits of expanding opportunities to all genders.
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