Of Course It’s Women Advocating for Climate Action

By Sallie Krawcheck

It's important to recognize that a world that is going in the wrong direction today has more of a negative impact on women, and particularly women of color.

The most recent example of this is the pandemic, which set women back financially by years; for some, it set them back by decades.

Another, urgent example: climate change.

Climate change ultimately impacts women and girls more than men. (Also, men have a larger carbon footprint than women — by 16%.)

And yet women are all but shut out of the “room where it happens.”

In the weekend New York Times, an article on the COP26 conference noted, “Those with the power to make decisions about how much the world warms in the coming decades are mostly old and male.”

(How “old and male”? Of the 130 presidents and prime ministers there, 120 are men; their average age is 60.)

The article then says that “Those who are angriest about the pace of climate action are mostly young and female.”

So to summarize, it is not those leading the talks — but the young people protesting outside — who will feel the devastating impacts of climate change on their lives. And these protestors more than understand this, “arguing that many of those most vulnerable to drought, water scarcity, and other climate disasters are low-income women with children to feed.”

Who thinks the pandemic would have been worse if women had been leading the world? (Note that countries run by women fared better during the acute stage of the pandemic.) Who thinks the financial crisis would have been worse if women had been in charge of the big banks? (History speaks again.)

And so who thinks that global warming would be worse if more women were in that room and had more of a voice?

Here’s something that we say often: Every dollar we save, spend, or invest has an impact. You know this already. More than half of Ellevest members are invested in Ellevest Impact Portfolios, which are built out of “ESG” funds, investments that direct dollars to companies with strong environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria. And women are more than twice as likely as men to say it's “extremely important” that the companies they invest in use ESG factors when making decisions.

You’ve likely heard us say this before, too: “Nothing bad happens when women have more money.”

What this really means is that nothing bad happens when women have more power, more voice, more confidence, more agency, more autonomy. When women are not easily silenced and have the power such that they must be listened to.

We must start listening.

Sallie Krawcheck Signature


Calculated as percentage of clients who have invested via Ellevest’s digital platform with at least one goal invested in an Ellevest Impact Portfolio. Data as of September 30, 2021.

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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.