Sustainable investments, or ESG investments (Environmental, Social, Governance) have made a tremendous move from niche to mainstream over the past years. In 2020 alone, inflows into ESG focused investment products have quadrupled and crossed the USD 1 trillion benchmark for the first time.
Gender lens investing is considered part of the ESG movement. In this practice, companies are typically being screened for their gender diversity and inclusion efforts. Research dating back to 2007 already shows a positive relationship between corporate performance and number of women in senior management roles.
As of today, SIX offers the SPI Gender Equality Index as part of the recently introduced ESG Indices family. Index components are selected from the largest 100 companies of the Swiss Performance Index (SPI). To be included in the index, companies must have between 20 and 80 percent women on the board of directors, and between 15 and 85 percent women on the management board. The index is available in a price and total return version and calculated in CHF.
Marion Leslie, Head Financial Information and member of SIX Executive Board, highlights: “The SPI Gender Equality Index is the first index of its kind for the Swiss market. In launching this index today, we are offering a transparent benchmark to measure gender diversity on Swiss companies’ boards and management committees.”
Components for the SPI Gender Equality Total Return Index are selected once a year in December and weighted equally, i.e. each company has the same weight in the index. The index is currently comprised of 27 companies, the top ten of which can be found here.
Further information on the new Gender Equality Index from SIX, including its methodology and rules is available here.