Are women behind the rise of ethical investing?

Amberjae Freeman
March 7, 2018
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It's no secret that socially responsible investing is on the rise. Of millennials (ages 18-34) who invest, the vast majority (78%) are currently invested in socially responsible or impact investing options or plan to invest in the future.

The next generation of investors seem to realize that growth at the expense of environmental and public health isn't working out in our favor. We're in a post-growth society. That means that companies, and the investment dollars backing them, need to consider the positive and negative impacts of their business. Corporations do not exist separately from society. Younger investors seem to realize this and the majority want to invest responsibly. Women are particularly keen on lining up their money with their moral compass.

In a study conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Swell Investing in October 2017 we found:

  • 85% of Millennial women aged 18-34 with investments either currently invest in socially responsible and impact investments or plan to in the future
  • 45% of all women and 36% of all men who invest aren't currently invested in socially responsible and impact investments but plan to invest in the future
  • More than a third (36%) of millennial women investors indicated that positive environmental and workforce policies was a top concern when considering investments

Women's support of responsible investments comes at a time when they are responsible for more wealth than ever before. According to a 2017 study, 84% of high-net-worth households are jointly or fully controlled by a woman. Women currently control 51 percent, or $14 trillion, of personal wealth in the U.S. and are expected to control $22 trillion by 2020.

Coupled with women's interest in sustainable investing, that's $22 trillion that could be shifted in the favor of conscious capitalism.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Swell Investing from October 9-11, 2017 among 2,207 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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