Gender Equity and the Talent Gap
Gender equity is in everyone's interests
Hiring top talent is crucial to company financial performance. And as we have seen recently with low unemployment rates, retaining that talent is equally crucial. Companies cannot afford to discriminate based on gender, either consciously or unconsciously. Gender equity is in everyone’s interests, including shareholders.
Gender representation is not a proxy for women's advancement
Investing to support gender equity is not a “feel good” exercise; it is fundamentally good business. Workplace and governance matters can materially impact company performance. Many Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) funds look at gender representation on corporate boards as a proxy for women’s advancement.
We look for companies that go beyond social justice screens
At Adasina, in addition to that common board makeup data, we evaluate data that showcases how all women (not just those in the C-Suite) are represented and cared for in the workplace. When we think about investing for gender equity, we seek to address sexual harassment, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ equal employment opportunity, and board representation.
We select the companies for JSTC As with our other social justice screens, we go well beyond the kind of superficial company screening often employed in traditional ESG funds. We look to the source for guidance on what makes a positive impact (those individuals whose careers and daily lives are impacted by unequal treatment) and we talk to the grassroots organizations that support them.
How JSTC is constructed
The ideas uncovered in our dialogues with social justice organizations are then built into the selection criteria for the Adasina Social Justice Index, which in turn provides the basis for the Adasina Social Justice All Cap Global ETF (NYSE Arca: JSTC). The index includes both traditional ESG metrics and Adasina’s data-driven proprietary screens and is built from a global universe of public equities across all major asset classes. In addition to gender justice, screens include racial, climate, and economic justice. The result is an ETF that can act as a bridge between the financial markets and social justice. It’s a fund that is accountable to the well-being of the people and the planet they inhabit.
Our screens can serve as early indicators for risk
Investors recognize that the financial impact of ESG is no longer just theoretical. While it is manifested most dramatically in the potential for billions of dollars in stranded fossil fuel assets, we believe it will increasingly be seen in the performance metrics of non-energy companies as well. As such, harmful practices flagged by Adasina’s proprietary screens can be an early indicator of material risk to investors.
Companies lose talent when women are negatively affected
The issue goes well beyond reputational risk; poor business practices that disproportionately impact women employees can lead to an exodus of talent at a time when talent is at a premium. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nearly 11 million job openings at the end of December, which came shortly after an estimated 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November, according to Labor Department data. Given this employment climate companies with safe, inclusive, and representative workplaces enjoy a competitive advantage.
Ending forced arbitration for sexual harassment is a critical step in creating more safe and inclusive workplaces
An example, one component of our gender justice screen is the use of forced arbitration in matters involving sexual harassment. Ending forced arbitration for sexual harassment is a critical step in creating more safe and inclusive workplaces and advancing gender, racial, and economic justice. Forced arbitration favors employers over harassment survivors, creating a culture of acceptance of sexual harassment in the workplace.1 Three years ago, we started Force The Issue, a coalition of investors, workers, and consumers collaborating to end this harmful practice. Together, we made the case for ending forced arbitration for sexual harassment, asked thousands of public companies where they stand, and published the data on this intersectional issue. After years of many groups (Adasina among them) pressing for both corporate and legislative change, last month, the US Senate passed bipartisan legislation to end the use of forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault claims in the workplace.
This is an historic moment and a huge victory for survivors of harassment and assault
Congress does not tend to pass bipartisan legislation that is seen as bad for business. We have known, from listening to communities of harassment and assault survivors, that this justice issue is also an employment and business issue. We believe that social justice movements are often early indicators of business and investor risk, and we’ve been looking at this indicator for years.
For clients who want to invest in change for all women, now they have a fund as committed as they are to fostering that change. For more information on Adasina and the Adasina Social Justice All Cap Global ETF, go to Adasina Social Capital.
At Adasina Social Capital, we’re committed to making large-scale, systemic change through investments in financial markets. Our diverse team of people from non-traditional backgrounds works closely with the communities we intend to impact – aligning investors with social justice movements. Beyond creating our own investment criteria and portfolios, Adasina mobilizes investors to drive long-term impact through industry campaigns and education. Join us in becoming unstoppable agents of meaningful change for people and our planet!