Gender Equality

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Challenges

Equality is premised on equal treatment, opportunities, rights, and access. Women have long been marginalized across the globe, and while some progress has been made like legal rights and anti-discrimination policies, there is still a long way to go. Gender inequality is direct and indirect, but it is everywhere. This integrated and systemic injustice affects women across a wide range of social issues such as healthcare, finance, and education. The investment theme Gender Equality looks beyond the bare minimum of equality in the form of security and seeks to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.

Gender Representation in Leadership Positions

Gender Representation in Leadership Positions

Women are underrepresented in high-paid positions and overrepresented in low-paid positions (U.S Dept. Of Labor, 2021). This results in very few women in leadership roles. Gender disparity in leadership is evident all the way up the corporate ladder and across various industries (McKinsey, 2021).

Gender Disparity in Promotion

Gender Disparity in Promotion

Women face barriers climbing the career ladder: from early gender biases influencing education pathways to stereotypes about what is regarded as ‘suitable’ work for women. In the workplace, women face severe limitations on upward mobility in the form of promotions and mentorship (McKinsey, 2019).

Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap

The most glaring form of gender inequality in the workplace is the gender pay gap. Women are paid significantly less than men for the same job roles and workload – this is even worse for women of color (U.S Dept. Of Labor, 2021). The pay gap can be found in almost every profession. Right now, the highest paying and growing industries are in STEM where women make up less than a third of the workforce (AAUW, 2020).

The Motherhood Penalty

The Motherhood Penalty

This term refers to the general policies and trends that oppress and disadvantage mothers in the workplace. Women who take a year off from work face challenges in returning the workplace and experience a motherhood pay gap (AAUW, 2020). The workplace culture suggests women must choose between motherhood or a career (Pew Research Center, 2021).

TIME TO TAKE ACTION

FLIT’s solution and gender equality

Investment Rationale

The main disadvantage of discrimination from a business perspective is missing out on key talents. There is plenty of evidence that talent is not differentially distributed by gender, age, or geography. Diversity brings value also by bringing different experiences and perspectives together, leading to better decision-making. We firmly believe companies with equal representation at the board and management level, gender pay equity, transparency on gender diversity, and proactive gender goals and targets will overperform their peers. There is already strong evidence that diverse companies perform financially better, and we believe institutional investors will also increasingly favor companies who score better on gender equality targets.

Impact Metrics

There are many standards for achieving gender equality such as the Women Empowerment Principles, Sustainable Development Goals 5, Gender Equality, and 10, Reducing Inequalities, and other gender assessment indices. FLIT is here to help you invest your resources into companies pushing for Gender Equality and actually doing it.

Portfolio Spotlight

Etsy, Inc. (ETSY). Etsy hosts one of the largest platforms for e-commerce, offering handmade and vintage items, art, clothing and more. Etsy performed well on gender equality in fact, women make up 44% of the board of directors and more than 50% of the executive management team. The company also holds a Mentorship Circle Program, an engineering sponsorship program for women and minorities. They go beyond just setting diversity targets, they integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion achievements into executive compensation. They also conduct regular pay-gap assessments and in 2020, analysis found no unexplained pay gaps adverse to women or non-white employees. Etsy is a shining star in our portfolio.

Benefits of FLIT’s Expert Curation

Our team at FLIT has researched hundreds of investment funds and companies to curate a portfolio that we believe embodies gender equality in multiple sectors. Each company is screened for multiple metrics, and we provide this data to users to ensure you can invest in line with your values. Unfortunately, many funds are promoted as gender-equality-focused but only in their name. For example, the largest “Gender equality fund” only supported women 20% of the time they faced a vote. Using our selected metrics, we are confident that we have chosen the best-performing funds and companies whose intentions and actions are in line with our values and yours.

TIME TO TAKE ACTION

Solutions beyond investing

Individual:
What can you do?

  • Challenge your gender bias – take the Harvard Gender-Career IAT to discover your implicit biases
  • Vote whenever you can and vote female wherever you can. If female candidates are not an option, opt for the best feminist male candidate
  • Donate, support or volunteer for a nonprofit organization advocating for change. Check out for example: Girls who Code, The Malala Fund and She should Run
  • Champion for-profit companies that are empowering women and contributing to achieve Gender Equality. Buy their products or use their services, work for them, and invest in them

Beyond:
What can we do together?

  • Reform policy, infrastructure, and social mechanisms that create and maintain inequality. E.g., abolish the motherhood penalty.
  • Adopt gender quotas, enforcing female representation.
  • Commit to gender policies, participation monitoring, and pay gap reports
  • This looks different at the local, national and global levels. Read our white paper to learn more.

Investment themes

Click below to explore our other investment themes.

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Prior to founding FLIT Invest, Alejandro worked at J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank in New York, where he oversaw and managed investments for ultra-high net worth families. Before J.P. Morgan, he was an investment analyst at Northwestern Mutual, responsible for developing comprehensive financial plans and asset allocation models. Alejandro is a CFA charterholder and former professional soccer player.

Steven is a UX/UI Designer based in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BA from CSULB focusing on graphic design. Steven approaches his projects with a keen eye for design while prioritizing user-friendly solutions. He is passionate about animal welfare, and environmental causes.

Prior to FLIT, Kinga worked at Ericsson as a software developer specializing in data analysis where she developed machine learning models to evaluate the quality of the encrypted media traffic over mobile networks. She is an advocate for promoting a transparent and effective work environment. Kinga values diversity and feels strongly about providing access to education. She has a sweet tooth, loves reading and HIIT training.

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Prior to founding FLIT Invest, Richard was an investment banker at ING in London. He advised banks, asset & wealth managers, FinTechs and other financial institutions on mergers & acquisitions, financing and other strategic projects. He is an impact investing enthusiast having advised BlueOrchard – leading global impact investing asset manager – on their sale to Schroders. Richard is a former professional triathlete, vegetarian and nature enthusiast.

Serena is a sales and growth professional. She has experience in rapidly scaling revenues for consumer products through the deployment of marketing campaigns and team strategy development. Serena has a keen eye for identifying and implementing emerging consumer trends that result in better user experiences. She is passionate about criminal justice reform and is a loud voice in the fight for gender and racial equality.

Martin is a Software Architect and Developer whose goal is to make FLIT Invest an application that puts usability and security first. Martin started his career in finance, where he developed an integrated treasury solution for banks and corporations. Then he deep-dived into medical imaging at Siemens Healthcare, where he spent years developing a next-generation radiography system. Martin is an avid traveler and loves cycling, hiking, and skiing.

Zsolt has worked as a Software Engineer in Germany, Scotland, and Hong Kong. His work experience lies predominantly in the FinTech industry, both in startups and well-established companies. Before FLIT Invest, Zsolt was a developer at Asia’s leading wealth management platform in Hong Kong. Alongside FLIT, Zsolt is completing his Master’s Degree in applied mathematics in London. In his free time, he enjoys swimming and reading fiction.

Tina is a UX/UI Designer based in Los Angeles, CA. Her expertise in both Economics and Interactive Design allows her to approach topics from a variety of perspectives in order to create products, assist people, and solve problems. She characterized challenges in a larger scope as an explorer, and she continued to look for solutions that would better human life. In addition to design, Tina is enthusiastic about women’s issues in society and animal welfare in various countries.

Peter is a Mobile Engineer with extensive experience in native iOS and Android app development. He has worked with various Fortune 500 companies across industries including fintech, transportation, human resources, energy, accounting, and pharmaceuticals. Being a lifelong learner he’s always eager to acquire new skills in various topics. He’s enthusiastic about different aspects of finance, and in his free time he enjoys working out.

Nick is a User Researcher based in Los Angeles, CA. After receiving his BA in Psychology, he moved on to receive a certificate in UX/UI from UCLA which set him on the path to understanding users. Nick approaches User Research with an empathetic lens, ensuring that every user’s needs are considered in each step of the process. Nick is passionate about providing sustainable change, and in his free time, he’s looking for another national park to check off the list.

Brian is a self-taught iOS developer based in Los Angeles, CA. Driven by a strong interest in finance and renewable energy, he takes pride in being part of a team that takes huge steps towards a greener future. Prior to joining FLIT, Brian played multiple competitive games such as League of Legends at a top-tier level- applying the same mindset of growth and improvement from gaming to his iOS development. Brian is often playing the piano in his free time and is extremely fascinated by artificial intelligence.

Rob is an impact investing analyst passionate about sustainability and its role in finance. Currently, he is a student at the University at Buffalo (UB), where he is the President of the UB Sustainable Business Association and a Board Member of the UB Equity Research Group. In his free time, you can catch Rob exercising or golfing.

Holly is a BSc Psychology with International Placement graduate from the University of Manchester, UK. She has worked and volunteered in the social care sector for 7 years and whilst at university, established an award-winning student zero-waste shop. She is passionate about social justice and environmental sustainability, and in her spare time volunteers as a Scout Leader and enjoys going for tea and cake with friends.

Jake is an entrepreneur, designer, and biologist passionate about sustainability. Previously, Jake founded VOSTIC, a company that manufactured and distributed a kelp-based replacement for plastic. Jake holds a master’s degree in Design Systems from Pacific Northwest College of Art and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Lewis & Clark College. On weekends you might find him making music or snowboarding at Mt. Hood.