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Why Investing in Women is a Smart Business Move

As investors review their portfolios for new sources of growth, one area that I believe is gaining the attention of policy leaders and corporate executives is the economic potential of investing in women.

According to Women as a Force for Economic Change [1], a UBS CIO Wealth Management Research report published in October 2016, just half of the world’s women are gainfully employed, compared to 75 percent of men. This gap has narrowed in many countries in recent decades, but considerable disparities still exist.

In addition, the UBS report shows that women earn on average 60 to 75 percent of men’s wages globally; yet if women were paid and participated in the labor market in line with best-in-region levels, they would add $12 trillion to the global economy within a decade. That’s an 11 percent jump in global GDP that could be attributed to women.

The reasons women are underrepresented in the workforce are varied and complex. Several are identified in Women as a Force for Economic Change [1]:

While the gender gap may create a substantial drag on the global economy, it may also provide an opportunity for investors who would like to create positive change. According to a study by Booz and Company (“Empowering the Third Billion. Women and the World of Work in 2012 [3]”), raising female levels of labor participation to match those of males would raise gross domestic product in the United States by 5 percent and by 9 percent in Japan.

A UBS white paper, Gender Lens Wealth [4], suggests ways that individuals can help women advance through impact investing [5], which aims to generate an additive measurable social impact as well as a compelling return:

Doing Well, Doing Good

Empowering women through targeted investments can have positive social and economic effects beyond financial returns to investors. Women may represent a significant untapped potential for income and productivity growth. In addition, investing in women entrepreneurs and allowing them to lift themselves out of poverty can have positive ripple effects across entire families, communities and countries.


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About the Author

Teri-ConklinTeri Conklin is Senior Vice President—Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services, Inc. [11] in Northbrook, Illinois. She was named a 2017 “Forbes Top 200 Women Advisor [12].” Teri lives in Kenilworth, Illinois.

Teri Conklin is a Financial Advisor with UBS Financial Services Inc., One Northbrook Place, Northbrook, IL 60062. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice.  Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of UBS Financial Services Inc. As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, UBS Financial Services Inc. offers both investment advisory services and brokerage services. Investment advisory services and brokerage services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate arrangements. It is important that clients understand the ways in which we conduct business and that they carefully read the agreements and disclosures that we provide to them about the products or services we offer. For more information visit our website at ubs.com/workingwithus

UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. This article has been provided by UBS Financial Services Inc. for use by its Financial Advisors

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