The investment world is starting to create products that take gender into account. Last week, investment firm Jarislowsky Fraser signed on to manage Canada’s first mutual fund that will specialize in investing in companies that are leaders in promoting women. The fund in Canada was created by Global Women Equity and is aimed at “socially responsible investors” who want to support companies that have made measurable commitments to supporting women, including having at least 25 percent women directors or executive officers.
The Global Women's Equity Fund (the "GWEF") is categorized as an SRI fund. It will appeal to socially responsible investors, mainly women, who are looking to promote concepts and ideals that they feel strongly about. GWEF will invest globally in publicly traded companies that have demonstrated their support for women's causes and are leaders in promoting gender equality in the workplace.
In the U.S., there’s also a growing trend to invest through a “gender lens”. Morgan Stanley recently introduced its Parity Portfolio which specializes in companies that have women on the board and in other leadership roles.
Organizations like the Criterion Institute in Connecticut are one of the main groups driving the conversation to reveal opportunities for the world of investing with a focus on women and girls.