Investing is for anyone who wants to have control over their financial future. But with the rise of socially responsible investing, there’s a new motivating factor for women: Your investments can also help support others.

Here are four ways to invest in the success and advancement of other women.

Start by investing in yourself. Many women doubt their own investing ability. In a 2017 survey from Fidelity Investments, only 9% of women thought they would outperform men investing. In reality, female investors often earn higher investment returns than their male counterparts.

Not investing has long-term financial consequences for women. Due to more gaps in work history and longer life spans, women may need to save more for retirement than men, despite typically earning less over their lifetimes.

Use a provider that makes it easy to invest in women. Once you make the decision to invest in your future, there are two ways to go about it: Getting help or doing it yourself. If you want help, robo-advisers let you invest without having to deal with your investments directly. These online services build an investment portfolio for you, often for much less than the cost of working with a financial adviser.

Ellevest offers an impact portfolio option to invest in companies that advance women in leadership and considers women’s longer life spans and lower average wages when building their portfolios. Stash, while not technically a robo-adviser, can help you find investments along mission-driven lines.

Find funds that benefit women. If you prefer the DIY investing approach, you can find mutual funds that focus on benefiting women or other marginalized groups and add them to your portfolio.

Many socially responsible funds are graded using ESG investing factors (ESG stands for environmental, social and corporate governance). High scores in the social and governance categories may indicate a company with a diverse leadership board or equal employment opportunities.

Work with a female financial adviser. If you identify as female, it can be beneficial to have an adviser who shares your worldview and may have a better understanding of the challenges you face. Using a female adviser also puts money into that adviser’s pocket.

The XY Planning Network, a network of certified financial planners, has a keyword filter where you can add “women” to find a female financial adviser. Ellevest also offers advisory sessions with their team of female financial advisers.


Alana Benson is a writer at NerdWallet. E-mail: