Gender Lens Investing Q1 2024

Gender Lens Investing Q1 2024 is a Review of Sustainable and Equality-focused Investing. The report examines the latest performance and composition of gender lens equity funds and provides updates on gender lens fixed income, DEI equity funds, and women in the economy. The review includes a profile on:

Our recently-authored Gender bond toolkit.

Key Findings

  • The report begins with a review of gender gap data and research published around International Women’s Day. Progress remains stubbornly slow for gender equality in corporate leadership, workplace advancement and pay, and broad economic participation.
  • Publicly traded gender lens equity funds (GLEFs) totaled $4.6 billion in AUM as of March 31, 2024. AUM growth was 9.5% for the quarter.
  • While six gender lens equity funds outperformed for the quarter, the asset class tended to trail the market for the 3- and 12-month periods. Technology stocks continued their market leadership, including some strong performers which are not well represented in these funds.
  • Among GLEFs, there are 21 global equity funds and 21 regional equity funds available to individual investors. These are domiciled in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Korea, and Japan.
  • AUM in gender lens fixed income was US$15.8 billion as of March 31, 2024. Quarterly AUM growth was 4.1%, including Gender bond issuances and maturities. 2023 AUM growth was a strong 32.9%, driven by new Gender bond issuances.
  • There were new Gender bond issues announced during the quarter, including Asian Development Bank issuances and the Luxembourg Green Exchange cross-listing of a bond supporting women-owned businesses in Argentina.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) funds totaled US$2.0 billion in AUM as of March 31, 2024. AUM growth was 7.1% for the quarter and 13.8% for the 12-month period for funds in our coverage throughout. This group of funds focuses on investing in companies with robust DEI policies or social justice track records.
  • The report spotlights developments and trends in ESG – or sustainable – equity and fixed income investing going into 2024.
  • The report also provides an excerpt from our recently-authored Gender bond toolkit.

Figure A: 12 Largest GLEFs by AUM (in $ millions)

As of March 31, 2024; Source: Fund fact sheets