Advisors often ask us: Who are the best clients for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund — is it just for women? That’s a logical assumption given the Fund was designed to bring about gender equality. But the audience for this Fund is actually much broader. So, who is invested in the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund? We took a close look recently and certain themes stood out.
1. Women of all generations: It probably goes without saying, but because this Fund targets gender inequality, it’s a fund that female clients can really get excited about. And don’t underestimate your more mature clients: Women of all generations are frustrated by the reality that it’s 2019 and we’re still fighting harassment, discrimination and wage inequality. Women clients especially love hearing about how Pax World Funds engages behind the scenes with companies about pay equity and gender equality in leadership — making their investment dollars echo beyond “the buy.” If you’re meeting with a woman client and you find out she volunteers for organizations that serve women and/or girls or otherwise cares about the plight of females, this could be a fund for her.
2. Performance-minded investors: Any client who is looking for a competitive investment strategy may appreciate hearing about this Fund’s results. (In a nutshell, in its first five years, it has outperformed its index with lower risk.1) Since many investors don’t love volatility and appreciate consistent strong performance, this is a story they can warm up to readily. We’ve found that many advisors use this fund as a core holding in their models. They have clients who care about the issues, but they also have clients who are more neutral and just appreciate an innovative investment thesis that has offered them lower risk and index outperformance.
3. Nonprofits, foundations and religious organizations: Many groups whose missions align with equality, women and girls have found that this fund lets them increase their impact in these key areas. The idea that they can direct capital toward the companies with the highest ratings for advancing women into leadership gets them excited and hopeful that change can happen more quickly than with philanthropic dollars alone. Equality is a core value of many religious organizations because it’s an issue their parishioners care deeply about. After all, about 70 percent2 of the people sitting in church on Sunday mornings are women!
4. Millennials and Gen Z: Millennials and the generation right behind them — Gen Z — care deeply about aligning their values with their investments (95 percent of millennials say so3). When we speak to large audiences, individuals from these generations are the first to approach us to find out how to invest in the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund. As you engage with the next generations of clients, this is a fund you may want to talk about. Need support? Let me know, as we have some great resources for engaging with these generations.
5. Men: It’s a safe bet that any man who has a daughter, mother, sister or wife may care about how gender inequality is impacting or will impact the ones they love. According to the World Economic Forum, at the current rate of progress it will take more than 151 years to reach gender parity in North America.4 That means our daughters’ daughters (and their granddaughters) will face inequality in their lifetimes unless we hasten progress toward equality. Many dads become investors in the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund so they help make more equitable the workplaces their daughters are entering or will enter in years to come. Many men also show interest in the research that shows companies with more gender diverse leadership teams provide a better culture for everyone. Moving the needle toward gender equality can benefit both men and women.
We hope this gives you some solid insight about who among your clients and prospective clients might be interested in gender lens investing.
1 Steve Falci, Julie Gorte, Scott LaBreche, David Loehwing, Heather Smith, “Gender Diversity Delivered: Results from Five Years of Investing in Women,” Pax Ellevate, July 22, 2019.
2 Pew Research Center, Religious Landscape Study, 2014.
3 Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, “Sustainable Signals,” 2019.
4 World Economic Forum, “Mind the 100 Year Gap,” 2020.