Diversity Champions are concerned with equal opportunities for all across education, income and living standards. You may want to explore investments that help support, or are aligned with, the creation of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive economy.
Why is it important to support diversity?
Gender inequality provides a good example. Progress in critical areas, such as the time spent by women on unpaid care and domestic work, women’s decision-making regarding their sexual and reproductive health, and budgeting that prioritises women, has regressed in the wake of social and economic challenges wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Women’s health services, already poorly funded, have faced major disruptions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Observatory, only 57% of women aged 15 to 49 who are married or in a union make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use, and reproductive health care. At the current pace of progress, however, it would take another 40 years for women to be equally represented in national political leadership.
Tackling diversity issues such as gender inequality requires commitment and bold action to accelerate progress, including through the promotion of laws, policies, budgets and institutions that advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
What UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to diversity
In 2015 the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is a shared blueprint for delivering peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You can use the UN SDGs to help them direct investments towards the most pressing diversity challenges.
SDG 5: Gender equality
The world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030, and the social and economic fallout from the pandemic has made the situation even bleaker. Accelerated action is needed to expand the implementation of gender-inclusive budgeting and strengthen its monitoring and evaluation.
SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified structural and systemic discrimination. Emerging markets and developing economies are experiencing slow recoveries, with widening disparities in income between countries. Urgent global action is needed to help least developed countries (LDCs) from sliding further into poverty.
The UN SDGs aligned with diversity are:
How to invest if supporting diversity is important to you
Diversity issues can be reflected in a diversified investment portfolio by choosing managers that use environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, and corporate engagement, to manage risks, and identify opportunities as part of their overall investment process. This approach should include, where relevant, an assessment of how companies and issuers deal with broad diversity issues, such as providing equal opportunities to disadvantaged groups.
Such an approach can help investors ensure that financially material risks related to diversity issues are accounted for in their portfolios, while still giving them the chance to grow their wealth and achieve their long-term financial goals.
If more targeted exposure is required, investors can also seek investments with an explicit focus on factors linked to diversity, or that look to make an impact on specific diversity issues – for example, by directly supporting the provision of internet connectivity to disadvantaged communities, or the financing of minority- or female-led companies.
United Nations. The Sustainable Development Goals Report. 2022, https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2022.pdf