Asset management company Legal & General Investment Management has launched the first gender-oriented fund to focus exclusively on UK listed companies which have achieved higher levels of gender diversity.
The L&G Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund1 (‘GIRL’ fund) aims to raise gender diversity standards in companies across the UK equity market by allocating more to companies that have better representation of women at all levels.
The fund will be available to individual investors through LGIM’s personal investing platform and also to financial advisers.
LGIM will score and rank companies according to four gender diversity measures: women on the board of directors, women executives, women in management and women in the workforce. Companies are expected to reach a minimum of 30% representation of women in these four measures. It is also considering incorporating gender pay gap audits as a potential fifth measure.
The fund tracks an LGIM-designed index of around 350 of the UK’s largest companies. The fund aims to deliver returns by tracking the UK equity stock market via low-cost and transparent index exposure, managed against the Solactive L&G Gender in Leadership UK Index. The index is ‘tilted’ according to LGIM’s proprietary gender diversity score.
Helena Morrissey, Head of Personal Investing at LGIM [pictured], said: “Gender inequality is one of the key issues of our time – and one that generates so much frustration. Rather than feeling trapped or despondent, let’s do something about it. I’m excited about the launch of the GIRL Fund, which empowers us all to use our money to help companies to progress. When we invest in the success of women, we are investing in the success of business. Collectively, we can help achieve gender equality and improve gender diversity in the UK.”