The need for more women in high-ranking corporate positions is hardly a new discussion. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg has been urging women to “lean in” lately, while numerous studies assert that having more women at the top is better for business.
And if all that were true, it would make sense to invest in women-led companies … right?
In a report last summer, Credit Suisse found that companies with “at least some” women on their boards enjoyed better stock performance over a six-year period than those with none. Hardly conclusive, but it’s a start.
For instance, female CEOs Marissa Mayer and Meg Whitman — who I previously criticized for accepting jobs at struggling tech dinosaurs — have nice recent gains on their resumes. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) have soared a respective 40% and 30% in the past six months. The broader (and mostly male) S&P 500 only gained 7%.
Granted, correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation … but even Morgan Stanley is taking such outpeformance to heart. Its wealth management division is starting a portfolio of “companies that have demonstrated a commitment to including women on their corporate boards,” according to DealBook.