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Video: Betting on women for better returns

Former Bank of America and Citigroup executive Sallie Krawcheck believes betting on women is smart business, and she’s put her money where her mouth is with her new index fund.

The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund invests in companies that commit to gender diversity in senior management positions as well as through corporate programs.

“When women are in senior leadership positions – good things happen. Economies grow and companies have good performance,” Krawcheck, chair of the fund, tells BNN.

Tracking the Pax Global Women’s Leadership Index, the fund buys companies with women taking up 31 percent of board seats and 24 percent of senior management positions. Its top holding is Royal Bank of Canada at 2.9 percent, with General Mills and 3M Co. included in its top ten weightings.

The fund is the investment arm of Krawcheck’s Ellevate, a women’s network formerly known as 85 Broads. A portion of the network’s revenue will be steered to the fund, making members indirect investors in companies with diverse boards.

Ellevate Network holds daily webinars which, according to Krawcheck, help women hone skills such as negotiating for better pay.

She says the network’s online platform is geared towards helping women get their foot in Wall Street’s door.

“There are no HR fairy godmothers out there, and if there were, I never met her,” Krawcheck says.

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