In July 2022, the investment research house Morningstar announced the launch of Morningstar Indexes’ Eurozone Gender Diversity Index Select 50 powered by Equileap’s leading data and insights on gender equality. The index is licensed to Citi to underlie structured products.

The Morningstar Eurozone Gender Diversity Select 50 Index helps investors pursue objectives that align with ESG standards in reference to gender diversity. The index methodology integrates exclusions based on product involvement filters alongside ESG risk scores powered by Morningstar Sustainalytics.

Based on Equileap data
The index constituent selection and weighting is also influenced by the gender diversity data and scoring methodology of Equileap – the leading provider of data and insights on gender equality in the corporate sector. The index is designed to provide exposure to companies that have strong gender equality policies and practices embedded in their corporate culture, better gender balance at all corporate levels, and that ensure equal opportunities to employees, irrespective of their gender.

Gender diversity index series with favourable returns
The launch of the Morningstar Eurozone Gender Diversity Index Select 50 fits into Morningstar’s broader Gender Diversity Index series, which has seen favourable returns with less volatility as measured by standard deviation of returns broad market equivalents. Morningstar’s gender diversity index series has scored well on measures of corporate quality and financial health.

Amelia Furr, Head of Sales at Morningstar Indexes said: “Since the pandemic the focus of both Social and Governance, within ESG has evolved beyond recognition. The launch of the index comes amid growing scrutiny of the make-up of investor portfolios. Investors and corporations have a role to play in developing gender equality. Societies that tap into the full potential of their populations are more competitive. The same principles carry over to the business world – research has shown that forward-looking diversity policies often go hand-in hand with better long-term performance of a business.”

Elree Winnett Seelig, Head of ESG Markets, Citi added: “The Morningstar Eurozone Gender Diversity Select 50 index is an exciting new way for investors seeking exposure to companies addressing an important business challenge. We are proud to collaborate with Morningstar and Equileap to address evolving investor interest.”

Rising interest in gender lens investing
The launch of the index is also a sign of the rising interest in gender lens investing, as pointed out by Diana van Maasdijk, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer of Equileap: “As investors increasingly demand opportunities to make real social impact with their investments, interest in gender lens investing is steadily rising. We are hugely proud of this collaboration with Morningstar and Citi. This partnership expands the choice investors now have for gender lens investing indices and products, and together we are responding to a growing market demand and allowing investors to make the informed, data-driven decisions that will help close the gender equality gap in the workplace.”