Sustainable investors are increasingly investing to promote gender equality and socioeconomic improvement for women and girls, according to a report from the US SIF Foundation, Investing to Advance Women, that also offers guidance for interested investors.
The US SIF Foundation found that at the start of 2018 institutional investors considered "gender lens" as a criterion in $868 billion of investment assets, more than double the assets identified in 2016.
The US SIF researchers worked with asset managers, the Governance & Accountability Institute, Institutional Shareholder Services and others on the report, which makes the business case for investors to consider gender equality issues.
The report looks at funds focused on investing in gender equality, ones that incorporate gender-related criteria in their investment analysis and those that prioritize shareholder engagement across environmental, social and governance issues, including gender.
"Women have made significant advances in the United States and around the world in recent decades, but they have not yet achieved parity with men on many socioeconomic measures," Meg Voorhes, director of research at US SIF said in a statement.
"The good news is that investing with an eye to improving gender equality and women's access to capital is the right thing to do as well as a winning investment strategy," she said. "This guide is intended as a handbook for individuals and institutions interested in learning about the growing opportunities to invest in women across a broad range of asset classes and regions."