Impact Shares partners with YWCA on women’s empowerment ETF

Aug 28th, 2018 | By | Category: Equities

Impact Shares has launched its second ETF, the Impact Shares YWCA Women’s Empowerment ETF (WOMN US).

Impact Shares launches new thematic ETF promoting women’s empowerment

WOMN provides exposure to US equities from firms that have aligned their business practices with gender-equality standards.

Brought to market in partnership with non-profit organization Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), the thematic fund provides exposure to US equities from firms that have aligned their business practices with gender-equality standards.

Ethan Powell, CEO of Impact Shares, commented, “We believe this is an important step in the evolution of women’s advocacy. YWCA has established themselves as the leading women’s organization and the ETF provides them with the tools needed to expand their impact into the private sector and help companies demonstrate leadership on issues impacting women.

“We are excited to partner with YWCA in providing investors access to a basket of companies that have strong policies and practices in support of women’s empowerment and gender equality.”

“The WOMN ETF puts the power to empower women in everyone’s hands,” added Alejandra Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA. “It allows us to leverage the capital markets to further our 160-year mission to eliminate racism and empower women.”

WOMN tracks the Morningstar Women’s Empowerment Index, underpinned by gender equality data and scoring from Equileap.

To be included in the index, constituents must pass standard liquidity criteria as well as a basic ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) screen, which excludes companies deriving the majority of their revenues from the weapons, gambling or tobacco industries plus companies on the Norwegian Ethics Council List.

The index consists of 200 companies, sourced from the largest 1,200 US-listed stocks (Morningstar Large-Mid Index), with the highest Equileap Gender Equality Scores.

Equileap’s Gender Scorecard utilizes a 19-criteria methodology inspired by the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. The scorecard is based on four categories: gender balance in leadership & workforce; equal compensation & work life balance; policies promoting gender equality; and commitment to transparency and accountability.

Constituents are weighted by market capitalization subject to certain constraints. Firstly, no individual security may account for more than 5% of the total index weight. Secondly, sector weights are constrained within a lower and upper bound so as to prevent significant deviations from the parent index.

The ETF has been listed on NYSE Arca and comes with an expense ratio of 0.75%.

Impact Shares made its debut in July with the Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NACP US). NACP also tracks a Morningstar index – this time powered by analytics from Sustainalytics – to provide exposure to US large- and mid-cap equities from firms that empower minorities including hiring, pay and promotion practices as well as their products, services and supply chains. The fund was introduced in partnership with civil rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The firm, which has promised to donate a portion of the net advisory proceeds it receives on each ETF back to the collaborating partner, is understood to be launching its third ETF later this month, this time in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund.

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