QWhat is your opinion of investment products structured to bet on companies with women at the top?

answered October 24th, 2014 by Patti Croft

I am really torn on this one. I like the idea in terms of its potential ability to raise global investor awareness about the paucity of women CEOs and the scarcity of female representation on the vast majority of corporate boards. However, I would like to take a good look at the study that suggests there is a correlation between female CEOs, or more female board members, or more female senior management members, and corporate outperformance. The article mentions a handful of large cap companies with female CEOs. I suspect there may be quite a few smaller companies with these attributes, but it may be impossible to invest in them. I would also hate to see the inverse, where any underperformance of these products would be blamed on the role of the female CEO or female board members. It would be nice to think that we could view CEOs on a gender agnostic basis, but this would also be naive. I am not a fan of fad investing, and I hope that these types of funds are not fads, but rather the edge of the wedge that raises awareness on the critical issue of women’s roles in the C suite and in the corporate boardroom.

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