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Responsible Investing: 5 Stocks With Great Balance Sheets That Encourage Gender Equality

James Dennin, Kapitall: Interested in responsible investing? New studies show more benefits for stocks that emphasize gender equality.

Not that it would surprise Janet Yellen one iota – but more evidence is starting to emerge about the tangible economic benefits of female board members. 

In fact, an index of women-owned alternative investment funds didn't just beat the industry average – they earned a profit while most funds were actually losing value. Now, we've known for a while that women tend to be more risk-averse, so it makes sense that women would undergo fewer losses during bearish times. 

However if it were as simple as that, then the logical converse of that statement would be that women get outperformed in bull markets. And that's turned out not to be the case either. In fact, all evidence seems to suggest that the markets reward women for their extra thoughtfulness, in good times and bad.

Check out more responsible investing ideas from Kapitall: 7 Profitable Stocks with Women CEOs

While this can be pretty hard to quantify, one thing is clear: there is money to be made by hiring lots of ladies, particularly in shaky or volatile markets. 

And while some argue that women prefer different, sometimes more expensive, benefits (like childcare support) compared to male executives, many leaders including the the Prime Minister of Japan are starting to realize that skimping on these benefits can sometimes cost even more. 

Read more: Time for Womenomics? Ask These Japanese Stocks with Strong Buy Ratings 

Investing ideas

We decided to run a screen on stocks that understand the importance of gender equality in the workforce. To do that we looked through the resources from our partner CSRHub, which measures corporate social responsibility.

Using one of their reports from 2020 Women on Boards, we were able to build a list of companies all of whom earn a rank of "Winning" for having a board that was at least 20% female. We took our list of companies that fit that initial criterion, and narrowed it down by looking at encouraging accounts receivable trends

Accounts receivable are a helpful picture of not just the quantity of a company's sales – but the quality of those sales as well. If accounts receivable is shrinking as a percentage of the current assets, it can be a sign that the company does a good job of actually getting what it's owed. That's because accounts receivable, while they appear on the balance sheet, have no guarantee that they will actually be received.