sexual orientation, nondiscrimination based
on gender identity. They got in trouble so
they are trying really hard to do the right
thing. We were blown away. You would
think a company that has publicly defined
values would support candidates that
shared those values. They will say, “We’re
concerned about our business interest.” As
far as I am concerned, and probably the
folks at Target are now concerned, their
business interests have to do with how they
are speaking with their resources.
[The Home Depot] had made a [$10,000]
contribution to Bob McDonnell, who
was running for the governor of Virginia,
through the general treasury funds. The
minute he got into office and on his campaign trail, he was committed to rolling
back all of the protections for LGBT citizens in the state of Virginia.
I look at that and I think, “Wow, what
would it be like to be any level of employee
who is LGBT at The Home Depot in Virginia
and realize that contributions made from the
general treasury support this guy?”
And what about PAC money? It’s
employee money and should not be subject-
ed to this sort of thing. It would be worse if
you are gay or lesbian and realize that the
guy sitting at the desk next to you is giv-
ing money to this PAC precisely to support
Recently, we went to Procter & Gamble.
Procter & Gamble does a lot around the
world. They were very concerned about
these kinds of things. They were really trying hard. But when we looked at their PAC
contributions, we saw that stuff and they
denied that they made any treasury contributions: “We don’t make any treasury contributions, so why are you picking on us
about our PAC?” In fact, they had just been
awarded a special recognition by the Center
for Political Accountability for [their decision not to give money from their treasury
Lo and behold, they are preparing
to go to shareholder meetings and they [file
a statement with the SEC that they] had
given money from their treasury. P&G has
come forth and said that they did.
We spent a lot of time worrying about
people’s asset allocation, their income needs.
We believe that shareholder engagement,
in addition to money management, can be a positive force for social
Gender Investment Strategies
VISCONTI Wall Street and the Wall Street banks have been dominated by men, but your firm is dominated by women. Do you see a philosophical difference between women and men, their investment
strategies and how they view investments and security?
GOODRIDGE When the market goes down like 500 points in a day,
which it does pretty much every other day, the women are like, “Are
you OK? Is everything all right?” Then they will ask, “Do I still have
any money?” I’m like, “Yes, let’s schedule a time; let me go through
your portfolio.” The guys are like, “We should buy something; it’s
just an opportunity,” “We should sell this,” or “I have to trim my
portfolio”—just crazy, irrational decisions.
You’d think it would be the other way around—that women
become hysterical and they decide to sell. No, it’s the guys that freak
out. The guys are active traders. They want to buy and sell. They
want to sort the stock. We don’t do that. Those kind of guys need to
find somebody else; there are plenty of people that do derivatives.
VISCONTI I was told by WEConnect, which is the global effort by
WBENC that certifies women-owned businesses, that there is only 1
percent of global business equity held by women. What do you think
would be the benefits—on the world and women in business—of having gender equity?
GOODRIDGE It’s just the same benefit that you have by including any
kind of diversity. If you don’t have a broad group of people sitting
around the table trying to analyze—for example, what we should do,
who you should give your money to, what political candidate you
should fund—you are not getting the full picture.
I found that a woman thinks differently than a man. Most women
are raised differently. There is a lot going on. The question is, how