Shareholders are becoming more involved in efforts to get gender issues on the minds of companies, specifically to include more women on their boards. A big push for that effort is coming from the Thirty Percent Coalition, the Women’s Inclusion Project and other initiatives, says Michael Passoff, CEO of Proxy Impact, a San Francisco-based proxy voting service for mission-based investors. Several dozen companies are being engaged on the issue of increasing board gender diversity through shareholder letters, dialogues and resolutions, he says. “Proxy access resolutions are also raising the issue with several dozen more,” he says.
Overall, the future appears bright for investing through a gender lens. “At some point, there will be explosive growth of AUM,” says Ellis of Morgan Stanley. “We can’t all forecast when, but investors are certainly starting to gravitate toward it.”