SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#equityfunds—Parallelle Finance, a research, analysis and advocacy firm focusing on gender lens investing, announces the release of its new report, Gender Lens Investing 2021: Supporting a Women-Focused Recovery. The report is the most comprehensive material publicly available discussing the state of publicly-traded gender lens investment funds.
“The public should know about ‘gender lens equity funds’ available to investors so they can make an informed decision about where they put their money,” said co-founder Marypat Smucker. “As we continue to work our way through a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted women in the workforce over the past 12 months, investors need to know about their options.”
The negative impact of the recent recession on women is emphasized repeatedly in the report, including this snippet:
“The pandemic-related economic downturn of 2020 has visited a uniquely negative impact on women in the global economy. The most vivid illustration is in the global care economy, which is comprised of US$10.8 trillion in unpaid labor, performed mostly by women. Two additional and related areas of impact are the overwhelming job losses by women and the predominance of women in low-paying essential jobs. Notably, minority women ended the year with unemployment rates above those for men and women overall. The sustainability of hard-won progress in workplace diversity is at risk.”
More key findings from the report include:
- Publicly-traded gender lens equity funds (GLEFs) ended 2020 with US$2.67 billion in AUM, including US$106 million in new funds launched during the year. AUM grew 40% in 2020, for funds covered by Parallelle Finance at end-2019.
- There are 12 global equity funds and 16 regional equity funds available to individual investors. These are listed in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the E.U., South Korea, and Japan.
- As a group, gender lens equity funds have 48% female management, compared to 14% of fund managers globally and 11% in the U.S.
- While there are no clear sector winners on gender equality, top sector weightings for these equity funds are information technology and financial services, two sectors with well researched gaps in gender equality.
- AUM-weighted country allocations are dominated by the U.S. at 58%, followed by Canada and several E.U. allocations.
- Directing capital toward companies and sectors characterized by women in low-paying roles is one way that gender lens funds can help drive a women-focused recovery.
- The growing array of gender lens fixed income offerings includes U.S. and emerging markets funds, private financial institution bond issues, development finance institution (DFI)-backed bonds, U.S. notes and certificates, and a lending platform.
The report’s executive summary features visual comparisons of the top gender lens equity funds (GLEFs) in assets-under-management, as well as performance.
As the report states, there is no clear sector winner in terms of gender equality. Parallelle Finance is working to ensure the information on gender equality in the workforce, in leadership positions, and in the investment industry is publicly available.
“As this report shows, there has been progress made in corporate gender equality, but there is still a long way to go to reach the level of inclusive equity women expect and deserve,” said co-founder Angela Atherton. “We’re glad to see some fund managers are taking notice.”
Parallelle Finance is a research, analysis, and advocacy shop focused on gender lens investing. Parallelle’s research in the space includes its Top 10 Holdings of Gender Lens Funds report, and its Parallelle FemLed Corporate Directory, placing Parallelle among the foremost authorities on gender lens investing. Additionally, they publish quarterly gender lens reports on equity and fixed-income funds.