Elena K Johansson reports on the rise of gender lens investment amid evidence that gender-balanced companies out-perform
It used to be that investors who wanted to adopt a gender lens would look at impact funds supporting microcredit initiatives or female entrepreneurs.
No longer. “For the first time in the past few years, we see that gender lens investing is moving from private to public equity,” says Diana van Maasdijk, co-founder and executive director of Equileap, an organization that gathers and analyzes comprehensive data sets on gender equality policies in companies.
The number of investment vehicles that are using its data is rising, she says, citing the involvement of large companies such as State Street and UBS. “We are looking at much bigger assets under management.”
The Solactive Equileap Global Gender Equality Index has outperformed the MSCI World Index by 10.7% over the last six years.
In January, UBS launched the Global Gender Equality UCITS ETF tracking Equileap’s Global Gender Equality 100 Leaders Index, which is listed on the Swiss stock exchange. The exchange-traded fund reached $80.2m in assets under management after a few months of its launch.
Equileap’s research and indices are the basis for two other gender exchange-traded funds that were launched last year. The first fund for companies domiciled in the US and Canada, Evolve’s North American Gender...