The XX Factor Guidebook
How to Align Financial Investments to Improve the Lives of Women & Girls
In 2017, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy published its first-ever comprehensive framework for philanthropic donors committed to improving the lives of women and girls called The XX Factor. For donors focused on impact, that framework provides an evidence-based playbook for generating the greatest impact for women and girls.
In this Guidebook, we show how our framework can be used not only to guide philanthropic funding decisions, but also to help investors align their financial investments with their goals of improving the lives of women and girls. Our guidance includes two main strategies for public equity alignment with the XX Factor framework: using available data for stock selection and engaging as a shareholder to influence the companies owned.
Join the Conversation
Since its release, the Guidebook has been incorporated into multiple events and partnerships, including:
A Typology of Investors Using an Impact Investment Lens
Below are examples of three types of investors who seek social data on companies—those who want to mitigate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks; those who want to pursue ESG opportunities; or those who want to create positive, social impact. Communication and implementation of an investor’s portfolio is different for each type of investor.
WHY USE A SOCIAL
Social Investment Thesis
Investing in financially attractive companies that rate higher than their peers on social measures will generate higher and more consistent financial returns over time
TO PURSUE ESG
Screening out bad actors and investing in companies that have higher alignment with my values will keep my investments from doing harm while at the same time performing well financially
Investing in companies that demonstrate a commitment to specific social practices will help solve important societal problems; may seek competitive or below market returns; may include a “laggards” portfolio for activist corporate engagement
Investment Policy Statement
Documents criteria for financial goals
Documents criteria for implementing my values and financial goals and the balance between them, as well as proxy voting guidelines
Documents criteria for implementing financial and social goals, and the balance between them as well as proxy voting guidelines
Might not be addressed
Ensure that my proxies are voted in alignment with my values; may outsource other forms of shareholder engagement
Vote my proxies and/or ensure they are voted in alignment with social goals; actively seek opportunities to engage in corporate dialogue, and submit shareholder resolutions
Key Strategies to Align a Public Equity Portfolio
Below are examples of strategies that investors can use to align their public equity portfolios with our XX Factor framework.
for your portfolio
Set criteria that describe attributes of companies that you want to avoid investing in because they don’t align with your mission.
Set criteria that describe attributes of companies that you actively seek to invest in because they do align with your social goals.
Eliminate from consideration any company that has exhibited patterns of sexual harassment including prior litigation with no policies and practices to prevent future occurrences, which is related to attitudes towards women in a society, a determinant in the XX Factor’s personal safety dimension.
Invest in companies that provide maternal and mental health benefits (if not provided by the public sector), criteria directly related to the XX Factor health dimension and determinants: the presence of a skilled attendant at birth, and mental illness rates.
Activate your portfolio through shareholder engagement
Vote your proxies, the annual ballot questions that a company’s management is required to provide to shareholders.
Engage in dialogue with corporate management by joining a network of like-minded investors who collaborate to influence company policies and practices.
Collaborate with like-minded investors to submit shareholder proposals to request disclosures of or changes to corporate practices and policies.
Vote yes on policies that request disclosure on paid family leave policies, a criterion that is related to paid maternity leave—a measure related to the equitable work-related policies and practices determinant in the XX Factor economic empowerment dimension.
Send letters to management requesting that they provide employees with comprehensive reproductive health coverage (if not provided by the public sector), which is related to both access to contraceptives and the presence of a skilled attendant at birth. Both are determinants within the XX Factor’s health dimension.
Submit a shareholder proposal requesting that the company calculate and disclose the firm’s gender pay gap, which is related to the equal pay for equal work measure associated with the equitable work-related policies and practices determinant in the XX Factor’s economic empowerment dimension.
* November 7, 2018 — An earlier version of this file stated the following on page 21: “In 2017, Equileap began to publish 12 data points measuring the gender balance and equality in over 3,000 companies and eight additional data points on 1,000 of those companies.” The correct figure is 19 data points measuring the gender balance and equality.