Meet Helena Morrissey, “head of personal investing at Legal & General Investment Management, and founder to the 30% club, which aims to increase the number of women on the boards of FTSE 100 companies.” The FTSE 100 is a share index similar to the S&P 500 or Dow Jones, which encompasses the 100 companies with the highest market cap listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The new fund supporting women in the workplace will be called the Solactive L&G Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund (aka ‘Girl Fund’) and weigh “the FTSE 350 index by market cap; costs are low too, with ongoing charges of only 0.5% a year.” While basic in terms of investing strategy, the fund will focus on four criteria to determine which companies are weighed heavily in it. These four pillars include “women in the workforce (10% of overall score), women in management teams (30%), women at the executive level (30%) and women on boards (30%)”
In addition to focusing on women in the workplace, the fund also will look to include companies that are traditionally excluded from other socially responsible investing funds (British American Tobacco for example). Morrissey believes that including these types of corporations is an important way to influence them. According to Money Week, Morrissey “points to the example of the traditional energy companies who “are now embracing renewables”. Having stake in a company provides you with the opportunity to push the company towards an agenda you support, and women on boards is an important issue that could see growth with enough stock.
There are many documents that support the theory of the benefits of diversity in the workplace. An example includes Credit Suisse Research Institute which “looked at the impact of board and senior management diversity at over 3,000 companies globally and found that the companies which scored higher on these diversity measures delivered better returns for investors.” These first looks are a great way to introduce people to the idea of the positives of diversity and with investment could lead to improvement across companies.