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Why this fund is betting big on women

According to research, companies with three or more women on their boards see 84% better return on sales, 60% better return on invested capital and 46% better return on equity, compared to companies with no female board members. A new index fund wants to capitalize on these findings, while catering to investors (like millennials and women) interested in social impact investing.

Former bank executive and head of the professional women's network Ellevate (formerly known as 85 Broads), Sallie Krawcheck announced the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund Wednesday. Her organization is partnering with fund management company Pax World Management to offer an index fund focused on companies where women have a presence on corporate boards of directors in the c-suite.

Holdings include Pepsico (PEP) where Indra Nooyi is chariman and CEO, Yahoo Finance's parent company Yahoo (YHOO) where Marissa Mayer is CEO, as well as companies like Xerox (XRX), Avon (AVP) and Procter & Gamble (PG).

"By putting real capital and real money against [the research showing better returns for companies with diversity at the top], all of the good stuff that happens -- research would indicate -- translates into good returns over time," Krawcheck tells us in the video above. "This is the first and only fund of its kind that's investing in this way behind these companies."

The index fund is open to any investor and has a $1,000 minimum.

Bloomberg reports the fund's predecessor, the Pax World Global Women’s Equality Fund (PXWEX), trailed 72% of rival funds over the past three years and 82% over the past five years, while in the past year it has beat 59% of its peers, gaining 20%.

In terms of those returns and how to think of them going forward, CEO of the new Pax index fund Joe Keefe tells us in the video above he expects the new index fund to behave like global indices, and again refers to the statistics indicating investing in women's leadership should result in better performance and returns.

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