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 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.”
Insights from the President of Parnassus Investments
By Benjamin E. Allen, President, Parnassus Investments and a portfolio manager for the Parnassus Core Equity Fund
As President of Parnassus Investments, I often think about what responsible investing might look like over the coming decades. The future is anchored in the past, so I believe the best way to begin an answer to this question is with a look back at the early years of responsible investing.
by John Streur, president and CEO, Calvert Research and Management
The responsible investing movement that we have started and shaped has reached the end of the beginning, with a broad and strong foundation that will evolve to provide the superstructure of our society’s continuing struggle to address and solve its greatest challenges. Our efforts are working, and we are being joined in our mission by more investors worldwide every day.
by Kathleen McQuiggan, Senior VP, Global Women’s Strategies, Pax World and Managing Director, Pax Ellevate Management, LLC
For an industry that prides itself on mastering risk management, finding value and uncovering arbitrage opportunities, I think the financial services sector is falling flat. Why? Because most firms are overlooking one of the biggest investment opportunities ever: women.
US sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing continues to expand. The total US-domiciled assets under management using SRI strategies grew from $6.57 trillion at the start of 2014 to $8.72 trillion at the start of 2016, an increase of 33 percent, as shown in Figure A. These assets now account for more than one out of every five dollars under professional management in the United States.
by Carole Laible, Chief Executive Officer, Domini Social Investments
Human nature often resists change. We struggle with moving from familiar surroundings to new, unknown territories. Yet, when it comes to the greatest single challenge we face today, our resistance to change will surely cause massive, uncontrollable, and unforeseeable changes.