Solactive and Equileap have designed a family of indices tracking leading companies in the field of gender equality.
The family consists of three indices, the Solactive Equileap Europe Gender Equality Index, the Solactive Equileap US Gender Equality Index and the Solactive Equileap Global Gender Equality Index (EQUAL), all offering investors different geographic exposures to the same gender lens methodology.
The indices will be used as the underlying baskets for investment products such as ETFs and structured products.
This new launch is the result of a collaboration between Solactive, the German index engineer, and Equileap, an organisation aiming to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace.
Equileap gathered data on over 3,000 publicly-listed companies in 23 countries and ranked them according to 19 gender equality criteria covering leadership, career development, work-life balance, equal pay, family leave, as well as health and safety.
Solactive designed the indices based on standard liquidity criteria, as well as a light ESG and an in-depth gender screenings both provided by Equileap.
The UN enlisted gender equality as one of the 17 Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by more than 150 world leaders.
Studies have repeatedly found that gender equality can be associated with better performance. For instance, a report by the World Economic Forum shows that there is a correlation between gender equality and economic variables such as countries’ GDP per capita and their level of competitiveness.
Similarly, at the corporate level, there is evidence that gender diverse companies are more likely to exhibit higher financial returns.
Steffen Scheuble (pictured), CEO of Solactive, says: “We are proud to be working alongside Equileap on these gender-focused indices including their unique, well researched and outstanding ratings. Gender equality has always been a core value for Solactive and we believe there is a growing market for this type of social impact financial products.”
Diana van Maasdijk, CEO and co-founder of Equileap says: “It is the first time that an organisation has built such a comprehensive corporate database on gender equality. We are convinced the launch of these indices, together with our Global Report on Gender Equality and in-depth company reports, will encourage companies and investors waking up to the importance of gender balance.”
The three indices are calculated as gross total return, price return and net total return indices. The Solactive Equileap Europe Gender Equality Index is denominated in EUR, while the Solactive Equileap US Gender Equality Index and the Solactive Equileap Global Gender Equality Index in USD. The Europe and US versions contain 75 constituents, whereas the global version counts 150 components. All indices are weighted equally and rebalanced annually.