The Women Advisors Forum opens Monday with food for this thought: That gender equality is the basis for intelligent investing.

There is “considerable evidence that gender diversity and the advancement of women is a key driver of business success—that companies that integrate gender diversity and women’s empowerment into their business models are likely to be more successful than their less enlightened competitors,’’ says Joseph Keefe, president and chief exeucitive officer of Pax World Management LLC. “Investing in companies that advance and empower women, in other words, is simply a smart investment strategy.’’

Keefe is speaking with Marion Asnes, editor-in-chief of Financial Planning magazine, at the noon luncheon that opens the forum Mnday at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. They will discuss “Gender Equality as an Investment Concept.”

The luncheon precedes a keynote address on “Mega Trends Affecting the Economy and Markets,” with PBS TV anchor and managing editor Consuelo Mack; as well as panel discussions on “Building Cohesion: Advice from an All-Star Team” and “Rainmaker Secrets: Techniques that Bring in Business."

(Click here to check out the agenda.)

Pax  created the first investment fund that aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace and the business world.

Its Global Women’s Equality Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in common stocks, preferred stocks and securities convertible into common and preferred stocks of companies around the world, primarily large capitalization firms..

In selecting investments, the Global Women’s Equality Fund seeks companies that are leaders in promoting gender equality and women’s advancement through internal policies and programs, transparency regarding the effectiveness of those policies and programs and accountability among employees to assure implementation and observance of those policies and programs.

The fund also seeks to invest in companies which follow the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the United Nations Global Compact.

Click here to see the Pax World Women’s Empowerment Platform.