Discrimination limits what societies can achieve. At a time when global challenges like climate change, pandemics, biodiversity loss and inequality must be confronted, we need to draw on all the human capital available. 

For managers and businesses, discrimination limits the talent pool available to support achievement. A growing body of research shows how bolstering diversity can enhance performance.

Labor shortages in many markets, exacerbated by the ‘Great Resignation’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, make staff retention and recruitment more critical than ever. The recent state laws limiting reproductive health access in the US have had financial impact, even before the recent Supreme Court decision.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research1 found that state restrictions on reproductive health access cost local economies $105 billion annually across the US

In this update, we review the latest academic research into diversity and its impacts on financial performance through innovation, HR management, governance and resilience. We focus on how:

  • Restricted access to reproductive health care could impact businesses following the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade
  • Diversity on boards and in the ‘C Suite’ boosts resilience and financial performance
  • Government-imposed board gender quotas affect corporate HR policies
  • Innovation correlates with diversity (of both gender and knowledge) on boards  
  • Companies with higher percentages of women on their boards tend to have lower carbon emissions

Diversity has value not just in society but in business, where competitiveness depends on productive and fair use of all available talent. A compelling and growing arsenal of research shows that different experiences and perspectives provide for more robust oversight, discussions, and decision-making.

1 Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 20 July 2022: New Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) Report Shows Economic Benefit to Women of Protecting Reproductive Rights

Julie Gorte, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing

Julie Gorte is Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing at Impax Asset Management LLC, the North American division of Impax Asset Management Group and investment adviser to Pax World Funds.

She oversees environmental, social and governance-related research on prospective and current investments as well as the firm’s shareholder engagement and public policy advocacy. Julie is also a member of the Impax Gender Analytics team.

Prior to joining the firm, Julie served as Vice President and Chief Social Investment Strategist at Calvert. Her experience before she joined the investment world in 1999 includes a various number of roles. Julie spent nearly 14 years as Senior Associate and Project Director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Additionally, she has held the roles of Vice President for Economic and Environmental Research at The Wilderness Society, and Program Manager for Technology Programs in the Environmental Protection Agency’s policy office and Senior Associate at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

Julie serves on the boards of the Endangered Species Coalition, E4theFuture, Clean Production Action and is the board chair of the Sustainable Investments Institute.

Julie received a Ph.D. and Master of Science in resource economics from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in forest management at Northern Arizona University.

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