Responsible Investor was delighted to host the first Gender Equity Investment Awards at RI USA last week.
The awards recognised funds’ intentional gender focus and measurable performance of investing in firms with higher gender equity among top executives. The candidates comprised all mutual funds sold in the US that either referenced gender in the fund name or included a gender-screening component.
The winner of this year’s awards was Impax Asset Management’s Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund, with Fidelity Investments’ Women’s Leadership Fund placing second. Glenmede Investment Management’s Women in Leadership US Equity Portfolio was awarded third place.
Scott LaBreche, portfolio manager and co-manager of Impax AM’s fund, told RI: “We are thrilled to have won the Gender Equity Investment Award. It highlights Impax’s long-term commitment to gender lens investing and our positive influence on growing this space through awareness and thought leadership.”
He added that the team works hard to identify companies that are “true leaders” in gender equity and create corporate cultures that support diversity.
“Impax’s authentic and unique investment approach allocates more weight to the leaders, creating measurable gender impact for our investors,” he said.
Nicole Connolly, portfolio manager of Fidelity’s Women’s Leadership Fund, said: “Fidelity is proud to be listed among a group of funds that work to prioritise and advance women’s leadership.
“If the S&P looked like the Fidelity Women’s Leadership Fund, it would have more than 200 extra female CEOs, two additional weeks of maternity and paternity leave, more companies reporting on pay gap, and double the amount of companies establishing diversity goals.
“That is a workforce where future generations could thrive.”
A spokesperson for Glenmede Investment Management said they were “thrilled” to be recognised for their approach to gender equity investing and to be included as part of this “esteemed group of funds”.
“Our investment approach has intentionally evolved to incorporate metrics that move beyond focusing on women in executive leadership,” the spokesperson told RI.
“We now integrate data on broader outcomes for employees, like the existence of inclusive DE&I programs, policies, and resources that support gender diversity at all levels in the workplace. We look forward to continuing to contribute to gender equity research, investing, and engagement.”
The awards were co-ordinated in a personal capacity by Andreas Hoepner, full professor at the University College Dublin and head of data science hub at the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance, and Marlene Timberlake D’Adamo, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
Full details of the methodology and the shortlist are available here.