Investment strategies focus on supporting women in the workplace

State Street Global Advisors, which launched an exchange-traded fund focused on women in 2016, also takes an active shareholder role.

“We get to vote on who makes it in and out of the board,” said Jenn Bender, senior managing director and director of research at State Street Global Advisors. “The ones that have no women on their boards, we are likely going to vote against their resolutions.”

State Street’s fund, with the ticker symbol SHE, focuses on companies with the highest percentage of female managers in their respective sectors. The index upon which the fund is based is rebalanced every year, Bender said.

While the fund’s holdings, which total 169, do change, most of the companies stay consistent over time, she said. The ETF’s top holdings currently include Pfizer Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.

The fund itself can serve as a “good replacement” for an ordinary equity allocation, Bender said.

“Having more diversity and views … is better for companies,” Bender said. “They tend to be more agile and envision what the future looks like better than other companies.”

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