Ellevest says it believes in racial equality — and plans to put considerable money where its mouth is.
The financial company, through its Intentional Impact portfolios, currently advises wealthy clients how to invest in stocks of companies that lift up women. Now, Ellevest says it’s adding additional screening criteria to ensure clients invest in companies that support people of color, too.
“We know that we can’t fully support women’s equality without also being anti-racist. So we’ve widened our lens past gender,” the firm explained in a press release. In addition to making information available for review, Ellevest says it will also help investors who have at least $250,000 to invest in reviewing their portfolios, to ensure that they’re giving cash to businesses that align with their social and political beliefs.
The reason for the move is simple, according to Ellevest co-founder and CEO Sallie Krawcheck: “Money is power, and the way to help things change in a capitalist society is through shifting capital,” she says. “We can’t actively advance women if we’re not advancing Black, brown, and Indigenous women as well.”
And that has to involve diving in beyond the diversity stats of a given company’s C-suite, Krawcheck adds. “Okay, great, you’re a female CEO. But do you have day care services and gender pay equality? What are your diversity inclusion management practices? Are you involved in the manufacture of land mines or tobacco, or in predatory lending?”
The firm’s strategy will also focus on tossing out the bad, as well as lifting up the good. So, for example, if a company fails to meet its new set of social justice standards — including not paying employees equally across race and gender lines, or supporting institutions like private prisons — Ellevest says it will no longer be touted as an option to its investor network.