There are numerous ways you can support other women, and one way is through how you invest your money. In this “Financially Savvy Female” column, we’re chatting with Eva Yazhari, impact investor, author of “The Good Your Money Can Do” and general manager of Beyond Capital Ventures, a women-led impact venture capital firm, about the best ways you can use your investment dollars to lift other women up.
Invest in Companies With Women in Key Management Positions
Investing in companies with women founders, leaders and board members not only supports the success of the women who are directly involved in the company but also often benefits women as a whole.
“This often translates to products and services that are more sensitive and aware of women’s needs,” Yazhari said. “Investors can look for opportunities like that where customers are underserved.”
There are a couple of ways you can invest in women-led companies.
“There are public market funds that are screening out companies that don’t have women on the boards, that are not helping women break the glass ceiling,” Yazhari said. “There are funds that you can proactively invest in.”
“On the private side, it’s really about supporting female entrepreneurship, and there are many ways to do that — angel investing and investing in companies directly, but also supporting ecosystems for women to become founders in emerging markets,” she continued. “There are many groups that are accelerator programs and they are able to take in capital, either from investors themselves or take in donations.”
On a smaller scale, you can also support your female friends’ businesses.
“If you have a friend who’s starting a business, you can support her. I believe in the female tribe and community at the local level, because women are more community-based,” Yazhari said. “That investment will also help.”
Take Our Poll: Do You Think Student Loan Debt Should Be Forgiven?
Include Women-Run Funds in Your Investment Portfolio
“We all have a pension or 401(k) or Robinhood account. The first step is to start asking questions,” Yazhari said. “Ask, ‘How many of the funds that are in my portfolio are run by women?’ That’s a really powerful question to ask. Asking this question creates demand. These answers should be available to you, and if you’re told, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I can’t give you that answer,’ then I think it’s definitely time to move.”
“Once you know the answer to that, you can figure out which direction you want to go,” she continued. “Do you want to look for more specialized funds that are focused on gender and add them to your portfolio? Or do you want to maybe move to an IRA or 401(k) provider that has better options?”
Work With a Female Financial Advisor
Yazhari notes that even women may have biases against working with other women as financial or investment advisors, but we need to change these attitudes if we want to level the playing field.
“It’s possible to interface with a female for all aspects of your finances,” she said. “Seek out those relationships more proactively. A financial advisor does not have to be a white male, even though that is the most prevalent type in the U.S.”
Bank With an Institution That Proactively Supports Women
“Pay attention to where your bank is lending out your money,” Yazhari said. “There’s a great new bank called First Women’s Bank in Chicago, and you can open up a savings account, and if you have cash, you can just park your cash there. It’s FDIC-insured and you can support women with that money being in a savings account that the bank is then lending out on the other side [to help support other women].”
GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.
More From GOBankingRates