Impact Shares and YWCA USA have announced the launch of an exchange traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange that enables investors to invest in companies whose practices are aligned with gender-equality standards.
Created with backing from the Rockefeller Foundation's Zero Gap Portfolio, the WOMN ETF tracks the Morningstar Women's Empowerment Index, which includes two hundred of the largest publicly traded U.S. companies with strong policies and practices in support of women's empowerment and gender equality, based on Equileap's Gender Equality Score.
"We believe that the criteria used to evaluate the companies in the index provides a roadmap for corporate America for the empowerment of the women in their workforces and will ultimately result in increased value creation for shareholders," said Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, which is working with YWCA USA to engage companies both in and not included in the index.
Impact Shares will donate its net advisory fees from the WOMN ETF to the YWCA, which will use the revenue to increase its influence nationally through direct service and advocacy.
"We believe this is an important step in the evolution of women's advocacy," said Ethan Powell, CEO of Impact Shares. "YWCA has established themselves as a leading women's organization, and the ETF provides them with the tools needed to expand their impact into the private sector and help companies demonstrate leadership on issues impacting women. We are excited to partner with the YWCA in providing investors access to a basket of companies that have strong policies and practices in support of women's empowerment and gender equality."