Morgan Stanley looked at 1,875 companies by the percentages of women who are board members, executives, managers, and employees and found that those with better representation of women outperformed companies that didn’t and their regional stock-market benchmarks.
Among the companies Morgan Stanley counted high for gender diversity and overweight buy ratings were Apple, Facebook, JPMorgan Chase, Visa, and Walmart. Those that ranked lower on gender diversity and had underweight ratings were Union Pacific, Southern Company, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Consolidated Edison.
The analysts found better results among companies better represented by women in the workforce and senior ranks whether they looked at market capitalization, dividend yield, return on equity, or beta. Morgan Stanley did not offer an explanation for the divergence but insists that gender diversity isn’t a proxy for larger-cap, high dividend companies.