March 18, 2016
On television this week, are you better off with a robot? That is the topic we are revisiting during this final weekend of winter fund-raising on public television. John Dorfman, an under the radar value investor who created a robot portfolio to test the theory that statistically cheap stocks will outperform the market over time – and lo and behold they have. You can see this episode again here. NEW THIS WEEK:reports on how much workplace diversity affects the bottom line.

According to research published by McKinsey & Company,companies in the top quartile of racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. And companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely. Food for thought for management and investors.

Read the Report from McKinsey

I have always been a big believer in meritocracy. I like to think that in America, people of equal skills, talent and education will be judged on their merits, not by who they are or where they come from, which is why I couldn’t figure out why more women were not advancing in the financial services industry. Women are certainly well represented on air, online and in print in financial journalism. But why are there still so few women in executive and management roles on Wall Street?

Last week I got some surprising answers while emceeing a fascinating and enlightening conference on increasing gender diversity in the financial services industry. “Beyond Talk: Taking Action to Achieve Gender Balance in the Financial World” was co-sponsored by The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, known as CalSTRS and State Street Global Advisors.

Read the report: CalSTRS Backs the Value of Women in Financial Leadership Roles

Leaders at both organizations have gone “beyond talk” and initiated practices to recruit, promote and mentor women in the industry.

They are putting substantial resources into the effort. SSGA just launched the SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF, symbol SHE, comprised of more than 140 U.S. companies with greater numbers of women in leadership positions than other companies in their sectors. CalSTRS invested $250 million in it at its launch.

Find out about: PDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF

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