ETF Trends
ETF Trends
  • SPDR Gender Diversity Index ETF (Ticker: SHE) to begin trading today on NYSE
  • SHE comprised of 144 stocks from largest 1,000 listed companies in the U.S., based on the presence of women at the CEO, board or senior leadership levels
  • State Street to direct portion of revenue to Donor-Advised Fund to partner with K-12 schools to address gender bias, prepare girls for future in business

SHE – that’s the ticker symbol State Street Global Advisors will begin trading today for its SPDR Gender Diversity Index ETF on the New York Stock Exchange.

SHE seeks to track the performance of the SSGA Gender Diversity Index, which comprises listed U.S. large capitalization companies with the highest levels within their sectors of gender diversity on their boards of directors and in their senior leadership.

According to a 2015 MSCI study that explored global trends in gender diversity on corporate boards between December 2009 and August 2015, companies with at least three female board members outperformed others in overall return on equity by more than 36 percent.

James Ross, executive vice president and global head of SPDR Exchange Traded Funds at SSGA, told ETF Trends its research team identified a data set that went deeper than the MSCI study.

“We think the actual idea and the index that we were able to construct around the idea with the data has strong investment backing,” Ross said. “It’s for purpose and return. We think that’s important.”

SHE is comprised of approximately 144 stocks from the largest 1,000 listed companies in the U.S., based on the presence of women at the CEO, board or senior leadership levels, and seeks to minimize divergent sector weights versus the 1,000 largest listed US companies with the goal of isolating gender diversity as the primary factor exposure.

SHE’s expense ratio is 0.20%.

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Ross said SSGA was inspired to develop the Index by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s (CalSTRS) efforts to move the needle on gender diversity in corporate America, especially for women in leadership positions.

“We see this as providing some choice and the potential for investors to invest for a purpose but also for return,” he said. “Information we have long-term we expect this to be a successful investment strategy.”

SSGA will also direct a portion of its revenue to nonprofit organizations that help develop girls as leaders in business and science.

“From a State Street perspective, we decided to put our money where our mouth is,” Ross said. “We’re donating a percentage of our proceeds – we’re not disclosing the percentage – and opening up a donor-advised fund that others can also invest in. It’s going to be donations to charitable organizations that partner with K-12 schools to address gender bias and prepare girls for the future in business. It’s going to focus itself on the STEM industries, which is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

The launch of SHE on the NYSE today coincides with International Women’s Day. Also happening today, Women in ETFs will be ringing the bells at stock exchanges around the world.