Investing in Gender Diversity

"Investing in Gender Diversity" is Part 1 of a three-part print series from Shelley Ford, financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in Denver, on the role of women in business. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3!

Gender diversity in the workplace has always been a hot button issue among the media and public. Arguments for more female participation in the workplace and in senior positions are often founded on the principle of equality. However, many forget that that a better balance of men and women in the workplace can also deliver an improved bottom line. 

Gender diversity in the workplace is not just the promotion of one gender over the other. It is about how a balanced representation and inclusion among genders can broaden perspectives and drive value. Morgan Stanley research shows that companies with higher levels of gender diversity have moderately outperformed their low diversity or sector peers on average in the past five years. Furthermore, a recent Harvard Business Review study also found that there is no meaningful difference in performance between women and men-led start-ups when financing is provided by venture capital firms with female partners.

Recent trends show that investors are becoming more likely to invest in companies that align with their values. No longer do investors that seek to create social good need to accept unattractive returns. If gender diversity is an issue you care about, consider investments in companies with greater representation of women on Boards of Directors and in senior leadership, and in funds focused on women’s healthcare solutions or increasing access to capital for women entrepreneurs in developing companies.

From gender equality to environmental concerns, investing in organizations that are consistent with your personal belief can sometimes help drive positive change - while still realizing financial returns. Explore options with your financial professional that will help you invest with your values without sacrificing your long term financial plan.

Shelley Ford is a Financial Advisor with the Pelican Bay Group at Morgan Stanley in Denver. She can be reached at 303-572-4839 or Shelley.Ford@morganstanley.com