It’s been 27 years since the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index was created, a collection of companies with outstanding sustainability profiles. It’s taken years for investors to view socially responsible investing in a serious manner.
Today, we are in the early stages of corporate diversity; some companies are truly interested in the idea of diverse boards while others are just going through the motions.
If corporate diversity matters to you, here are two of the best stocks to own that take diversity seriously.
Best Stocks to Own: Stitch Fix Inc (NASDAQ:SFIX)
The online shopping service that provides subscribers with a monthly clothing “fix” in their mailboxes — selected through a combination of artificial intelligence and human curation — just won an award for having the most diverse board in the tech industry.
To qualify for Boardlist’s top 30 tech companies demonstrating diversity and inclusion, a company had to have at least one woman on the board, one person of color, and one independent director on the board.
Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake recently sat down with Time Magazine to discuss her business and the role she plays in moving diversity ahead.
Her answer about being CEO — and the youngest woman to take a company public — is right on the money.
“The biggest thing that we could do is to be an example of a company that is founded by a woman, that is in a women’s industry and goes public,” Lake told Time in the May 3 Q&A. “Because if nothing else it wakes up the capitalists and venture capitalists … Even if they are not going to get excited about fashion, if they feel like they missed out on that one, that creates a natural and capitalist reason for people to pay more attention.”
I see Stitch Fix as one of the biggest disruptors in both technology and retail. Lake’s figured out how to bring a high tech, high touch approach under one roof. Not an easy task.
Stitch Fix has a six-person board with four women and two men — and what a board it is.
I expect big things from this up-and-coming company. It truly is one of the best stocks to own on NASDAQ.
Best Stocks to Own: NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE)
The Florida-based company is the largest utility in the world with a $75 billion market cap. Interestingly, it generates more solar and wind power than any other utility in the world.
Its stocks performed very nicely, up 17% on an annualized basis over the past five years, almost double its peers.
Company Chairman and CEO Jim Robo recently was given the Visionary Award for Innovation in Shared Value from the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation.
“We applaud NextEra Energy not only for its steadfast focus to identify and implement innovative, industry-leading solutions to improve reliability and lower costs for customers but also for its commitment to embrace diversity at all levels within the organization and promote high standards in corporate governance,” said Susan C. Keating, CEO of WomenCorporateDirectors.
Constantly named one of America’s most admired companies, if you look at the composition of the company board, you’ll see that not only are there three women out of 12 directors, but there are also a couple of non-white members.
In the top job for almost six years and with NextEra since 2002, Robo delivers for all the company’s stakeholders by putting employees first.
“Importantly, it’s our people and their passion for excellence that differentiates us from others in our industry, and I’ve long held the belief that our people are our greatest asset,” Robo said in accepting the award.
I’m not much of a utilities’ investor but I might start after reading about NextEra’s diversity practices.
As of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.