Mutual funds and gender equality in portfolio firms: Toward the sustainable development goals

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Abundant research has documented an overall female penalty. To reduce this, stakeholders are pressuring firms worldwide to adopt diversity goals and to implement practices to promote gender diversity. These gender-related practices could influence corporate financial performance and, consequently, the financial performance of funds investing in them. However, this effect could differ across sectors related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this study, we examine the effect of gender equality criteria on the financial performance of SDG-related thematic mutual funds in the United States. We also study the financial impact on mutual funds of each of the four dimensions of gender equality components. We use a dataset of 554 US thematic mutual funds and 2140 US conventional mutual funds investing globally or in the United States markets, covering the 2015–2021 period. To this sample, we apply the Fama and French six-factor model and Student's t-parametric test for independent samples. Our findings indicate that the gender equality effect on fund financial performance depends on the sector and geographical market in which mutual funds invest.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalCorporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management
Early online date12 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2022


  • commitment to women's empowerment
  • compensation
  • financial performance
  • gender equality policies
  • gender equality score
  • leadership and workforce
  • sustainable development goals
  • thematic mutual funds


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