On today’s International Woman’s Day, Nordea AM celebrate the 3-year anniversary of Nordea 1 – Global Gender Diversity Fund , a solution committed to delivering solid returns by investing in companies with a strong focus on gender balance. The Fund, a global equity solution, qualifies as an Article 9 product under SFDR regulations and meets the new MiFID sustainability requirements. It is managed by two female portfolio managers, Julie Bech and Audhild Asheim Aabø.
Gender diversity is an important sustainability related theme that is being accelerated by the United Nations’ commitment to a more peaceful and prosperous world, as evidenced by the UN’s 5th Sustainable Development Goal: “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. With its core theme aligned with this objective, the Fund invests in companies that are taking steps to support gender diversity. In addition, the Fund incorporates a number of ESG criteria such as excluding companies that are involved in breaches of international law and norms on environmental protection, human rights and labour standards.
“We privilege companies that include fair gender representation in senior management, executive management and at the board level. We believe that gender diversity drives a company’s profitability, thus companies promoting it should be rewarded. While this is a social issue, it is also correlated with business success.”Julie Bech, co-Portfolio Manager of Nordea 1 – Global Gender Diversity Fund
The business case for gender diversity is well documented, for example McKinsey & Company’s 2020 global study of more than 1,000 companies in 15 countries found that organizations in the top quartile of gender diversity were more likely to outperform on profitability—25% more likely for gender-diverse executive teams and 28% more likely for gender-diverse boards. At the other end of the spectrum, companies in the bottom quartile for both gender and ethnic/cultural diversity were 27% less likely to experience profitability above the industry average. Researchers measured profitability by using average EBIT margins.