by Julie Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Impax Aseet Management and Pax World Funds
When I began working to make boards more gender diverse in 2001, the percentage of women on the boards of large companies in the United States was around 12 percent. By 2011, women had gained a few more seats at the table, and by 2016 women held 21 percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies. At this rate of progress — less than one percent increase per year — it will be three more decades before big companies’ boards achieve gender parity. And that, sadly, is the good news.
by Debra Schwartz Managing Director, MacArthur Foundation
Often, the most compelling impact investments are made, not found.
I have used that phrase over the years to describe how foundations and other impact-focused investors use “catalytic capital” to support social and environmental progress. These patient, flexible, “catalytic” investments are able to take on more risk and/or accept a lower return than commercial capital in order to finance gains that would not otherwise be possible.
by Teri Lovelace, President, LOCUS Impact Investing
Place-based impact investing is sparking community development projects that create more just, equitable local economies, and build prosperous, vibrant communities. Place-focused foundations, like community foundations and family foundations are exploring ways to complement their traditional grant-making with local investments that can catalyze positive community change.
by Gabe Rissman Co-Founder and President, YourStake.org
I rose to the podium, looked Exxon then-CEO Rex Tillerson in the eye, and spoke. “Why does Exxon fund climate-denying organizations, when you publicly support a carbon tax?” Tillerson deflected the question at the time: “we would never impinge on ALEC’s free speech.” D’oh. Two years later, in July 2018, Exxon ceased funding ALEC, the climate change denying organization I highlighted.
While difficult at the moment, the many conversations with my friends about money inspired me to explore a different path. Conversation after conversation, I started to chip away at what felt wrong about money, and we would talk about their “wish list” when it comes to finance. What came up again and again was the desire to feel smart about money decisions – “whatever I do should be easy to understand, available to all, convenient to do, and make me feel good and empowered.”