From the college classroom to the corporate boardroom, women around the globe are driving change and creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce. It’s a phenomenon that Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. Equity & Quantitative Strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, calls the X-Factor. In a new report titled Women: The X-Factor, she and her team bring to light the impact women are having on the economy, the workplace and the investment landscape.

Watch the video, which highlights key findings from the report, and then listen to the audiocast between Subramanian and Candace Browning, head of Global Research at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, for a broader exploration of the X-Factor and the significance it has for us all.

The equality effect audiocast

In the wide-ranging audio conversation below, Subramanian and Browning explore why gender equality is at the heart of these changing global dynamics—and why it’s important to understand their power and potential.

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Progress despite challenges

Despite significant progress, there is still work to be done around gender equality. The fact is, women work more hours than men but get paid less. Even though investors are increasingly favoring companies that focus on diversity and women in management roles, the World Bank estimates it could take 170 years1 before pay equality is achieved, if current trends continue. For women to realize their true potential, it's critical for business, political and social leaders to understand the global benefits gender equality has to offer.

Gender-lens investing (GLI) is a practice that takes into account whether an investment will benefit women as part of overall financial considerations. Recent research suggests that companies with strong gender equality policies experience lower share price and earnings volatility, higher return on equity and other positive financial attributes. As our animated graphic shows, since 2014, GLI investments have grown rapidly and the trend is expected to continue.

 

Continue the conversation

To read Women: The X-Factor, listen to an audiocast on why companies are focused on growing responsibly, or learn about Bank of America’s commitment to women in the workplace, click on the tiles below.