January 2018 – Athena Capital Advisors, a privately owned, independent registered investment advisorserving high net worth private clients, foundations and endowments, has released a white paper on investing to achieve gender equality. The paper offers a practitioner’s perspective on gender lens investing and the construction of gender inclusive investment portfolios. Titled, “Investing in Gender Equality,” the paper was authored by members of Athena Capital’s Impact Investing team, including Lisette Cooper, the firm’s founder and chief investment officer; Kate Huntington, Managing Director, Research; and Jeff Finkelman, Research Associate, Impact Investments.

“As a female-founded firm, we are often called upon to share our insights on gender lens investing. A growing number of investors are asking how they can allocate capital in ways that have a meaningful impact on gender inequality,” said Cooper. “This white paper compiles our best research on the topic of investing in gender equality and draws directly from our experience working with clients who share this priority and are building portfolios with a gender lens while also seeking market-rate returns.”

The white paper explores the basic methods of integrating gender into financial analysis and examines various types of gender investment strategies currently available in the market. Athena Capital provides guidance on how these practices come together in the context of building an investment portfolio. The paper also includes a case study based on a current client of the firm who is committed to using her portfolio to expand opportunities for women in finance and the broader economy.

“Achieving gender equality is not only a moral obligation, as reognized by the United Nations, but it also represents a business and investment opportunity,” said Cooper. “Gender inclusive strategies and portfolios aim to empower women by advancing workplace equity, creating new services and products, and increasing access to capital.”

Throughout history and across the globe, gender has been a key determinant in the distribution of social and economic opportunity. Women comprise 50% of the global population, but have far less representation in many key cross-sections of society. The statistics can be alarming:

– In the United States, women who worked year-round in 2016 earned an average of 80 cents for every dollar men earned. The pay gap has improved since 1960, when women earned just 60 cents on the dollar, but unless the pace of progress accelerates, pay parity will not be reached until 2059.9

Read more: http://www.valuewalk.com/2018/01/athena-capital-investing/