Gender-lens investing action toolkit
Action toolkit to move your money
Education and resources
Learn how to make a change and invest in gender equality.
If you’re an individual investor

It’s your money, and your financial advisor works for you. You just need to have a meeting to discuss what you have learned about your investments and how you would like them changed to align with your values. An investment professional will advise you of potential risk and you can make your own decisions.

You can trade your own portfolio, or tell your manager to do it. They may push back and tell you that you’ll make less money. You can reply, “Maybe, but it’s my money, and evidence shows gender diverse companies tend to have higher returns and lower risk.” You can also check the mutual fund financial performance statistics on each fund’s page. It’s a financial advisors job to manage your money, so you should drive home the point in no uncertain terms.

Ask for help finding the best choices. The advisor may say no if you tell them to invest in a specific fund because it has a short or rocky history, so you may need to be patient as they find a better alternative. If they’re being lazy or unwilling to help you with this transition, find a new advisor. If your broker is tied to a big-name brand, they may only be able to offer products that the particular company has approved. If you want innovation, you might need a new advisor.

Adding options to your retirement plan

If your employer’s 401(k) plan already has options that meet your gender lens investing needs, that's great! But many plans only offer diversified funds that own the whole market, including the companies that score low on gender balance and policies promoting gender equality. It is possible to convince companies to add options to their retirement plan , but it will take more effort than if you have an IRA or a personal portfolio that you solely control. You will need to engage the plan administrator to help find the right blend of options to satisfy the many employees who all invest in the same basket of mutual funds. This may take time and possibly some coordination with your co-plan participants.

To effectively advocate for new offerings through your employer-sponsored plan, first build a coalition of peers and interested co-workers inside your company.
Step 1 – Talk to your colleagues and build a coalition
Step 2 – Identify the best people to speak with
If your company has policies promoting gender diversity and equality, you can point out that there should be retirement plan options that align with those company values.
Step 3 – Bring a solution to the table
Sample letter to plan administrator
Resources for gender-lens investing
Here are resources that can help you get started on your gender-lens investing journey
Equileap provides research and publications aimed at increasing gender awareness and supporting companies in their good practices. They also track other research indicating the connection between gender lens investing and financial returns.
Forum for Sustainable and
Responsible Investment
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment works to advance sustainable, responsible and impact investing. Learn the basics of responsible investing.
Find sustainably-invested mutual funds and ETFs

Search for funds from your 401(k), retirement plan, or personal portfolio
More from Invest Your Values
See how mutual funds and ETFs are rated on issues ranging from fossil fuels, to deforestation, gender equality, guns, prisons, weapons, and tobacco

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As You Sow is not an investment adviser as that term is defined under federal and state (California) laws and regulations. As You Sow is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and empowering shareholders to change corporations for the good through the collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant information to the public, free of charge. As You Sow does not provide financial planning, legal or tax advice. Nothing on this website shall constitute or be construed as an offering of financial instruments, or as investment advice or investment recommendations.
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