External resources

/ Industry publications highlight the importance of gender equality for company performance and economic growth

Women and the Markets

S&P GLOBAL · October 2020

S&P Global, in partnership with AARP, examined Corporate America’s family leave policies to understand the relationship between family-friendly benefits and female representation in the workforce and senior management. The research is based on the results of a survey of 1,573 individuals who work for a firm with more than 1,000 employees and gender equality data from Equileap.

Gender Lens Investing in Public Markets: It’s More Than Women at the Top

Glenmede · October 2020

With a global public market size of $3.4 billion as of 2019, gender lens investing has moved beyond an examination of how many women are serving at the highest echelons of a company. The research used Equileap’s data on companies in the Russell 1000 (2014-2020) to identify the relationship between gender equity factors and performance. One conclusion is that, on a sector-neutral basis, companies in the top quintile of Equileap’s Category A (Gender Balance in Leadership and Workforce) experienced on average greater return and less risk than companies in the bottom quintile.

ESG Report 2019

GPIF (Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund) · September 2020

Key findings on gender equality on pages 43-44, based on Equileap data. The Research notably found that Japan scores lowest out of 24 developed countries for gender equality.


The Pipeline · July 2020

In the FTSE 100, there are more CEOs named Peter than female CEOs. In the FTSE 350, only 5% of CEOs, 16% of CFOs and 10% of executives are women.

Diversity wins: How inclusion matters

McKinsey · May 2020

Our latest report shows not only that the business case remains robust but also that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance has strengthened over time. These findings emerge from our largest data set so far, encompassing 15 countries and more than 1,000 large companies.

Women on boards, 2019 Progress Report

MSCI · December 2019

The number of companies with majority female boards doubled in 2019 compared with 2018. Yet these 22 firms accounted for fewer than 1% of the constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index as of October 30, 2019; 98.7% of the boards remained male-dominated.

Are you missing millions? The commercial imperative for putting a gender lens on your business

PwC, in partnership with the 30% Club and WPP · November 2019

The report is produced by the 30% Club in conjunction with PwC, with support from WPP and case studies from global and FTSE100 diversity champions including Diageo, GSK, HSBC, Mastercard, PwC, Unilever and Vodafone. It aims to inspire and support businesses to seek commercial benefit by taking a more systematic and enterprise-wide approach to gender, far beyond the traditional focus within HR.

When Women Lead, Firms Win

S&P Global, by Daniel J. Sandberg · October 2019

The study finds that firms with female CFOs are more profitable and generated excess profits of $1.8T over the study horizon. It also found that firms with female CEOs and CFOs have produced superior stock price performance, compared to the market average. In the 24 months post-appointment,female CEOs saw a 20% increase in stock price momentum and female CFOs saw a 6% increase in profitability and 8% larger stock returns. These results are economically and statistically significant.

Evaluating the financial materiality of gender diversity factors

Eaton Vance, by Yijia Chen · October 2019

Gender diversity factors show strong efficacy in equity returns for both the U.S. and international markets. More specifically, companies’ circumstantial score associated with gender and inclusion issues is the major driver for superior financial performance of U.S. large-cap companies, while board-level gender diversity works best for U.S. small-cap companies and non-U.S. markets.

Sustainable Reality. Analyzing Risks and Returns of Sustainable Funds

Morgan Stanley · August 2019

Can you invest sustainably without sacrificing financial returns? Research conducted on the performance of nearly 11,000 mutual funds from 2004 to 2018 shows that there’s no financial trade-off in the returns of sustainable funds compared to traditional funds, and they demonstrate lower downside risk.

Investing in Gender Equality

PwC · June 2019

The report, prepared by PwC Norway and commissioned by Care and Storebrand, looks at the connection between gender diversity and corporate performance. The review of existing relevant literature finds that increasing female labour market participation can lead to many positive effects, such as increased economic growth, increased productivity and an increased economic resilience. It also finds that more diverse leadership can lead to increases in profitability.

Diversity from an Investor’s Perspective

New Financial, by Olivia Seddon-Daines and Yasmine Chinwala · May 2019

This report looks at why and how the most forward-looking asset owners (such as pension funds, insurers and sovereign wealth funds) are addressing diversity and inclusion. Their opinions count – as an essential source of capital for financial markets, the needs and actions of asset owners have a big impact on how the whole system operates.

Progress on the Gender Pay Gap: 2019

Glassdoor · April 2019

This study examines how gender pay gaps around the world have changed since Glassdoor’s initial study in 2016. Leveraging hundreds of thousands of salary reports, including detailed worker and job information shared voluntarily and anonymously by employees on Glassdoor, the gender pay gap in eight countries is estimated: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Australia. The gender pay gap persists around the world, but it is narrowing. In the United States, for example, the gender pay gap is estimated to close by 2070.

Research: Gender Pay Gaps Shrink When Companies Are Required to Disclose Them

Harvard Business Review, by Morten Bennedsen, Elena Simintzi, Margarita Tsoutsoura and Daniel Wolfenzon · January 2019

The study’s results suggest that disclosing disparities in gender pay does in fact narrow the gender wage gap. It also can increase the number of women being hired, indicating that the supply pool of female employees increases as gender pay transparency improves. It can increase the number of female employees being promoted from the bottom of the hierarchy to more senior positions. And it can lower companies’ overall wage bills, largely by slowing down the growth of male wages.

Just Good Investing: Why gender matters to your portfolio and what you can do about it

Calvert Impact Capital · December 2018

Whether we acknowledge it or not, gender is a major determinant of life outcomes around the world. On average, over 11 years, companies with higher percentage of Women in Leadership positions and Women in Board positions outperform companies with the lowest percentages. It’s not just the number of women that are important, it’s the ratio. Once a borrower exceeds 33% of Women in Leadership, we observe a more significant increase in financial performance.

Gender Lens Investing: Bending the Arc of Finance for Women and Girls

Veris Wealth Partners · Fall 2018

It took 25 years for the first USD 1 billion to be invested in gender lens investments. The second billion dollars took 12 months. Given the rapid expansion of the gender lens investment ecosystem, the future looks bright for those committed to bending the arc of finance for women and girls.

The power of Parity: Capturing the potential: advancing gender equality in the dutch labor market

McKinsey Global Institute · September 2018

Moving toward gender equality is not only a moral and social issue, it is also vital to the Dutch economy.

The Other Dividend

Harvard Business Review, by Paul Gompers and Silpa Kovvali · August 2018

The gender and racial makeup of the venture capital industry is staggeringly homogeneous. A comprehensive data set of every VC organization and investor in the United States since 1990 shows that the industry has remained relatively uniform for the past 28 years. Only 8% of the investors are women. Racial minorities are also underrepresented—about 2% of VC investors are Hispanic, and fewer than 1% are black. Those groups have seen significantly increased representation in other fields and in advanced professional and scientific degree programs, but not in the VC industry.

Gender lens investing, Impact opportunities through gender equity

Cambridge Associates · 2018

Gender lens investing is quickly gaining traction amongst different types of investors, offering the potential to align portfolios with impact or mission goals, address gender inequality, and generate returns attributed to the faster economic growth associated with gender equity. Investment managers are responding to this demand by launching new gender lens investment strategies. Perhaps even more importantly, interest in gender lens investing is helping to facilitate a growing body of research examining the role of women in the global economy. These trends create a unique and compelling opportunity for investors to integrate gender lens strategies into their portfolios and to capitalize on the economic opportunity created by gender equity.

Global Gender Gap Report 2018

World Economic Forum · 2018

Projecting current trends into the future, the overall global gender gap will close in 108 years across the 106 countries covered since the first edition of the report. The most challenging gender gaps to close are the economic and political empowerment dimensions.

Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment

United Nations Women · Multiple sources

When more women work, economies grow. An increase in female labour force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation—results in faster economic growth.