In 2017, #MeToo became the shorthand for a long-overdue reckoning with sexual assault and harassment. In 2018, it is our hope that every #MeToo story is matched by examples of capital backing women-led and women-focused ventures, funds and investment products. That would move the needle on Sustainable Development Goal № 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
State Street’s “Fearless Girl” was more than symbolic. After the $2.5 trillion asset manager installed a bronze statue of a girl staring down the Wall Street bull, it voted against board members of male-only boards 400 times through August. The firm’s Gender Diversity exchange-traded fund (which trades as SHE), now holds one-third of publicly held gender-lens investments (or $329 million). State Street settled claims that it had paid its own female execs less than men, suggesting that there’s a long way yet to go. More on State Street.
Researchers have tallied $2.2 billion in public- and private-equity assets invested in women. Altogether, nearly two-dozen gender-lens investment vehicles now hold more than $910 million in the public markets. Separately, a tally of 58 women-focused venture-capital funds found $1.3 billion in private assets. From a small base, asset allocations specifically focused on women are rising fast.
Read the full article about the progress of gender equality in 2017 and what’s in store for 2018 at ImpactAlpha.
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