The Gender Lens Scorecard applies five grade levels to four categories, each comprised of scores from sub-categories and indicators. Taken together, the categories assess both the fund and the asset management firm on gender equality in investment criteria, holdings, portfolio management team, and firm-wide leadership, as well as the fund’s performance and overall ESG approach.
There are 24 gender lens equity funds (GLEFs) in the Q1 Scorecard rankings. A fund must employ at least one stated gender equality threshold in its investment strategy to be included in our gender lens universe. The data behind the Scorecard rankings is primarily publicly disclosed information.
- UBS Global Gender Equality UCITS ETF
- Mirova Women Leaders Equity Fund
- RobecoSAM Global Gender Equality Equities Fund
- Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund (investor class)
- Desjardins SocieTerra Diversity Fund
- Fidelity Women’s Leadership Fund
- Mackenzie Global Women’s Leadership Fund
- Mackenzie Global Women’s Leadership ETF
- Fidelity Women’s Leadership ETF
- Fidelity Women’s Leadership Fund (Canada)
- Impact Shares YWCA Women’s Empowerment ETF
- Glenmede Women in Leadership U.S. Equity Portfolio
- Belfius Equities Wo=Men
- Nordea Global Gender Diversity Fund (Nordea SICAV 1)
- Lyxor Global Gender Equality (DR) UCITS ETF
- SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF
- AVA Gender Equality Tracker
- RBC Vision Women’s Leadership MSCI Canada Index ETF
- NEXT FUNDS MSCI Japan Empowering Women Select Index ETF
- Valeurs Féminines Global
- BMO Women in Leadership Fund ETF
- Daiwa ETF MSCI Japan Empowering Women Index WIN
- BMO Women in Leadership Fund
- Ampega Diversity Plus Aktienfond
Funds with less than six months of history are not included in the current rankings:
- M&G (Lux) Diversity and Inclusion Fund
- SEB Global Equal Opportunity Fund
- DWS Invest ESG Women for Women
- IQ Engender Equality ETF
- V-Shares US Leadership Diversity ETF
We lack sufficient disclosed data on three funds in our gender lens equity universe. These are not included in the current rankings:
- Barclays Women in Leadership ETN (U.S. Equity)
- Smart ESG 30 Empowering Women Net Return ETN (Japan Equity)
- Meritz The Woman Securities Investment Company (Republic of Korea Equity)
Category 1: Fund gender metrics
- Gender lens investment criteria
- Women in leadership and workforce metrics of holdings
- Representation of women on portfolio management team
With this category, the tool examines the stated investment criteria for depth of gender lens focus, including beyond women-in-leadership to include additional metrics and/or thresholds on pay equity and transparency, workplace policies, and diversity metrics around external relationships and other factors. This category also brings together several unique proprietary scores on how the gender lens criteria is reflected in portfolio holdings. The third portion of this category is a score for female representation on the portfolio management team.
The overall top-scoring funds for the quarter were also largely the best scorers in the fund gender metrics category. Those category leaders achieved strong scores in criteria and holdings gender metrics. There were only four significant laggards in this category. In those cases, the ranges of gender lens investment criteria were particularly less robust than the group as a whole.
Top Quartile GLEFs for Category 1
Category 2: Firm gender metrics
- Women in leadership metrics
- Firm public commitments to equality
- Advocacy for gender equality and diversity
We advocate for asset managers to both offer gender lens products and demonstrate a high level of gender and broad-based equality. This Scorecard category includes indicators around a range of women-in-leadership metrics at the asset manager and parent levels, including board, C-suite, fund trustees, and executive management representation of women. This category also includes an in-depth evaluation of proxy voting policies and records, for the fund and firm, as well as a score for shareholder engagement. In looking at a firm’s external commitment to equality, the category captures a nominal score for public commitment to global gender equality compacts and platforms: UN Principles of Responsible Investing, UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, and UN Global Compact.
There were a number of high scorers on firm gender metrics for the quarter, with only six firms earning significantly low scores. Within the category, ten firms scored relatively high on firm WIL for the quarter, while five lagged notably. On active ownership, twelve firms achieved high scores, with eight earning medium-high marks. While all but one of the firms are signatories to the UN Principles of Responsible Investing, only 33% are signatories to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and 42% are signatories to the UN Global Compact.
Top Quartile GLEFs for Category 2
Category 3: Fund performance
- Internal rating of fund performance vs. gender lens indexes and broad market indexes
- Third-party ratings of fund risk-adjusted performance
The Scorecard incorporates four measures of relative performance and one metric around risk adjusted returns. The performance metrics are internal scores for 1-year and longest-term performance relative to a corresponding broad market index and relative to a corresponding gender lens index.
Technology-related shares have dominated the broad market for the last several years. The gender lens equity funds are underweight the market indexes in technology and have struggled to outperform, while many of the GLEFs have been performing well against the leading gender lens indexes. One-year and longer-term performance scores were relatively lower than the other categories across the funds.
Top Quartile GLEFs for Category 3
Category 4: Fund ESG
- Aggregation of leading ESG scores
As gender lens is a thematic ESG strategy, the tool includes a combined score for how the fund is rated by four leading ESG ratings providers. These ratings tools are designed to measure the presence, disclosure, and management of climate and broad-based ESG risks and opportunities among portfolio holdings.
With external ESG scores available for all but one of the 24 funds in the Q1 Scorecard, eight funds scored above the 65th percentile for the group. Five funds were modestly behind the group, but all funds achieved relatively high scores in this category.
Top Quartile GLEFs for Category 4
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