The Future of Investing

Things I want to see:
  • More women in leadership
  • Gender equity in the workplace
  • Women’s increased access to capital
  • More products and services beneficial to women and girls
  • More women who proudly call themselves investors

Investing in these goals is not just the “right” thing to do. It’s profitable. And it naturally connects to other injustices—racial, economic, and climate. 

It’s called gender-lens investing. And whether you have $1000 or $100 million, it’s never been easier.

What I’m describing is not an investment strategy; it’s a shift in mindset. And it can be brought to every investment category. If you work with a financial advisor and have yet to talk about your wish to apply your values to your investments, now’s the time.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, I share some of my favorite ways to invest in women. 

Cash and Fixed Income

CNote* is a women-led impact investment platform that makes it easy to invest in the causes and communities that matter. I earn higher returns on my cash (have you checked the interest rates paid by your bank or brokerage firm lately?) while investing in the people and U.S. businesses I want to support. Along the way, CNote will share how those funds are making an impact.

Publicly-Traded Equities

There are more gender lens investing options in mutual funds and ETFs available than ever before. Your new challenge is to ask yourself what angles most appeal to you. 

For example, the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE) focuses on women’s leadership on boards and senior management in corporate America. The Impact Shares YWCA Women’s Empowerment ETF (WOMN) emphasizes companies with strong policies and practices in support of women’s empowerment and gender equality.

In learning more about gender equity, I’ve found the intersectionality of gender with other equally important issues, such as as racial, economic and climate justice. Through the Adasina Social Justice All Cap Global ETF (JSTC), I invest in a global set of companies at the forefront of all of these issues.

If you can meet higher investment minimums and/or want more customization, investment managers such as Adasina* and Aperio* provide a host of options. Publicly-traded equities are likely a sizable portion of your portfolio; this is a key area in which you can make a difference.

Private Equities

While the statistics in this space remain lackluster, it seems the benefits of of gender-diverse teams, getting capital in the hands of women founders, and investing in companies with products and services that serve women are finally beginning to be recognized in the private equity and venture capital (VC) world (recent report). 

If the elusive private equity and VC space hasn’t historically felt like the place for you, you’re not alone. In recent years, I’ve been inspired by the creative ways I’ve seen capital, founders and investors pull together through intentionally-inclusive communities. Here are three examples:

  • Portfolia* launches funds with a special focus on markets where women are the experts—women’s health, consumer goods, and Femtech. It’s investing in women, by women and underrepresented groups. Leave it to women to figure out that community is key when it comes to long-term investing.
  • How Women Invest is a venture capital firm which identifies high-potential female founders and provides the starter-fuel and mentorship to propel them. It’s a community boldly intent on building Gender-Lens Investing 2.0.
  • The Anti-Bias Fund is the latest fund by Alumni Ventures*, whose model is all about bridging community and investing. This fund is run by a young and diverse team and will invest in 20-30 companies led by traditionally “biased-against” founders and/or featuring a business model addressing systemic biases. Gender isn’t the sole bias addressed, but intersects all of them.
To Learn More

Want to keep growing in your learning of this future of investing? Check out Jacki Zehner’s wealth of resources. Need a roadmap for how to think this through for yourself? Moxie Future literally provides one (Your Responsible Investment Roadmap).

Whew, that’s all for now.

I have a host of favorite people, firms and ideas not shared here. It wasn’t my intent to be all-encompassing. It was my intent for each of you to see at least one new idea–something that would make you think differently.

I challenge you to take one small action step with your investments that furthers the world you wish to see.

As for me, I have to run. I have some amazing female entrepreneurs to invest in.

*I am an investor in strategies managed by mentioned investment firms CNote, Adasina, Aperio, Portfolia and Alumni Ventures.

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Jodi Morris Written by:

Venture Guide to High-Achieving Seekers. Success Coach. Venture Travel Curator. Impact Investor. Traveler. Writer. Global Connector. When we connect to others' stories it changes our own. Let's Venture!