Kathleen McQuiggan: Investing in Women. Literally!
It is easy to say that gender diversity is important to you, that investing in women is crucial. Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund allows you to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak, and apply gender lens investing to make money and make an impact.
Kathleen McQuiggan is Senior Vice President of Global Women’s Strategies for Pax World Management LLC and Managing Director of Pax Ellevate Management LLC. In a role that marries her passion, purpose and profession, she is responsible for initiatives related to gender diversity and women’s leadership, and she directs Pax World’s broader contributions to thought leadership around gender equality as an investment concept. McQuiggan leads Pax World’s Women and Wealth Practice Management initiative, a venture focused on helping financial advisors better engage and serve female clients.
A distinguished leader at her firm, McQuiggan was named to the InvestmentNews’ Women to Watch list in 2015. Her 25-plus years of experience in financial services includes a 13-year stint as VP at Goldman Sachs and five years as President of Catalina Leadership, a consulting firm she founded with a focus on investing in women. Today she explains the concepts of gender lens and sustainable investing, the barriers to ending gender disparity in financial services, and the myths around the lack of women in leadership in the industry.
Key Interview Takeaways
A growing number of investors want to consider gender diversity as a component of their investment decision-making. Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund is a mutual fund that invests in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women into leadership.
Sustainable investing integrates financial metrics and ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors, allowing investors to enjoy financial returns and make an impact. For this reason, Pax Global Women’s Strategy takes an active role in shareholder advocacy.
Only 23% of Certified Financial Planners are women, and that statistic hasn’t changed in the last ten years. A lack of awareness about the industry and few role models are among the barriers to ending gender disparity.
The ‘pipeline issue’ to explain the lack of women in leadership in financial services is a myth. Though the breakdown of men and women in entry-level positions is nearly 50/50, there is a dramatic drop-off as you move up through organizations.
Another myth around the lack of women in leadership in financial services is that a significant number of women leave the workforce. McQuiggan argues that many women shift industries or become entrepreneurs because of the subtle inequities that prevent women from thriving.
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