Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The Search for Women in the Boardroom

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

If you're looking to invest in companies with diversity in the boardroom, there's no need to click around websites looking at bios, names, and photographs in search of people who seem to bring different expertise than your average Tom, Dick, or Harry. That would be time-consuming and a dubious way to find the good mix of business expertise, gender, and ethnicity that has been linked to better governance and higher profitability. (Although reading leaders' biographies is a good idea.)

If you're particularly interested in gender diversity, a new stock index series introduced by the folks at Pax World and KLD provides a shortcut to finding promising investment candidates. The objective of The Gender Investment Index series is "demonstrating that gender equality is an important indicator of financial health, and that companies that empower women and encourage gender diversity outperform others over the long term." 

Below are some of the top holdings in the North America Women Investment Index (NAWI), which includes 216 companies. As you can see, while these companies may all look good from a gender-equality standpoint, investors in our Motley Fool CAPS community have a mixed bag of opinions about their stocks:


CAPS Rating (5 max)

Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO  )


General Mills (NYSE: GIS  )


Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE: BNS  )


New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT  )


AT&T (NYSE: T  )


Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL  )


Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX  )


Selection criteria for the index included representation of women on the board of directors and in management, programs and policies that support women (such as mentoring, maternity leave, and flexible schedules), and lawsuits or claims about discrimination or hostile work environments. 

I popped over to check the New York Times' board of directors and found that five of the 15 are women (including President and CEO Janet Robinson). At General Mills, I found eight of 32 top managers were women, along with five of 13 directors.

What to do
If this kind of socially responsible investing (which also bears the possibility of solid performance) appeals to you, keep an eye out for new index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on these indexes.

Learn more in these articles:

Frustrated with your 401(k)? Even if your employer's plan isn't the greatest, you don't have to give up your dreams of a happy retirement. Get the tips you need to turn your retirement savings around in our special report, "How to Make The Most of Your 401(k)" -- just click here for instant free access.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. Bank Of Nova Scotia is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Quest Diagnostics is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of the Fool's investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 31, 2009, at 12:42 PM, pondee619 wrote:

    "The objective of The Gender Investment Index series is "demonstrating that gender equality is an important indicator of financial health, and that companies that empower women and encourage gender diversity outperform others over the long term." "

    Their objective may be demonstrating... but has it done so?

    "If you're particularly interested in gender diversity" Why shoud I be?

    If I am interested in gender diversity, aren't I admitting that the genders are different? Are they different? Should they be treated differently?

    If I look at, and judge, a person based on their gender, race, religion, national origin, aren't I being sexist, racist or otherwise bigoted?

    If a woman should be selected for a position because she is a woman, couldn't she be denied that same post for the same reason?

    Shouldn't I judge a person by the depth of their soul, extent of their experience, and quality of their abilities rather than the color of their skin, country of their origin, religious beliefs and/or gender?

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 864536, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 1:48:35 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 4 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,199.33 30.06 0.17%
S&P 500 2,139.43 -3.73 -0.17%
NASD 5,250.27 -33.13 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/26/2016 4:02 PM
BMO $64.79 Up +0.28 +0.43%
Bank of Montreal CAPS Rating: ***
BNS $53.63 Down -0.14 -0.26%
The Bank of Nova S… CAPS Rating: ****
DGX $80.15 Down -3.02 -3.63%
Quest Diagnostics CAPS Rating: ****
EL $85.76 Down -0.42 -0.49%
The Estee Lauder C… CAPS Rating: **
GIS $60.84 Down -0.26 -0.43%
General Mills CAPS Rating: ****
NYT $11.40 Down -0.05 -0.44%
The New York Times CAPS Rating: **
T $36.43 Down -0.27 -0.74%
AT and T CAPS Rating: ****