Morgan Stanley recently released a study on risk and return in correlation with gender diversity in the workplace. The full report, An Investor’s Guide to Gender Diversity, is available through an advisor, but an infographic on the public site homepage detailed the research and findings. The study aimed to standardize data for gender diversification within companies in order to provide a clear basis for comparison. A very relevant theme in today’s climate as more companies publically commit to workplace equality, as seen in Audi’s recent Super Bowl commercial. The report was released four days before the Women’s March, the largest inaugural protest in U.S. history.
Still from Audi Super Bowl 2017 Commercial
The report ranked 1,600 global companies on a broad range of factors, including representation of women as managers and directors, policies promoting diversity and equality, relaxed work schedules, child care services and maternity leave policies. The results found that in sectors where employee satisfaction determines product quality, gender diversity promotes higher returns with lower volatility. These figures may put to ease the minds of investors who want to align investments with their values, but would like to prioritize their returns. This is not the first time Morgan Stanley has addressed gender diversity—in September of 2016 the firm introduced its Gender Diversity Tool Kit to help advisors better integrate their clients’ interests into their portfolios.
Gender Diversity Returns Correlation
Although articles and investment platforms targeted towards female investors gain popularity, Morgan Stanley went a step further by introducing gender diversity as a value-based investment criterion in order to give clients a more personalized investment experience. We’ve looked into the growing popularity of SRIs and the need for firms to help investors find the focused funds that align to their particular values, and Morgan Stanley is the only firm in our coverage group to promote gender diversity research while it is so timely. As Morgan Stanley continues to cater to equality, we expect its competitors to catch up with similar offerings.