Impact investing has taken another step forward in the world of exchange traded funds (ETFs). Today, nonprofit ETF sponsor Impact Shares introduces the Impact Shares YWCA Women's Empowerment ETF (NYSE:WOMN). The new ETF allows investors to deploy capital in companies that have aligned their business practices with gender-equality standards while also powering the future efforts of YWCA, an organization that has been a leader in women’s advocacy for the last 160 years.
Impact Shares, with backing from The Rockefeller Foundation’s Zero Gap Portfolio, has set out to partner with leading nonprofit organizations who want to leverage capital markets to further their missions and increase their social impact. The Zero Gap portfolio is focused on building new financial products and markets which can channel critical capital toward the world’s most challenging problems. This partnership with YWCA to launch WOMN follows on the heels of the recent debut of the Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NACP) and an anticipated launch in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund next month.
“The WOMN ETF puts the power to empower women in everyone’s hands. It allows us to leverage the capital markets to further our 160-year mission to eliminate racism and empower women. The entire YWCA network, made up of more than 200 local associations, is excited about this innovative product that provides the investor the opportunity to generate both financial and social returns, and helps fuel the future of our work,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA.
WOMN is designed to track the Morningstar Women’s Empowerment Index, built with the gender equality data and scoring methodology of Equileap, which represents 200 companies culled from 1200 of the largest U.S.-listed publicly traded companies based on each company’s Gender Equality Score, which is evaluated under a set of 19 gender equality criteria.
Impact Shares, itself a 501(c)(3) charity, will donate the net advisory proceeds it receives from each ETF it sponsors back to the collaborating nonprofit partner, creating meaningful engagement with corporate America and providing the investing public with more targeted, credible social-impact investing options.
“We believe this is an important step in the evolution of women’s advocacy. YWCA has established themselves as the leading women’s organization and the ETF provides them with the tools needed to expand their impact into the private sector and help companies demonstrate leadership on issues impacting women. We are excited to partner with YWCA in providing investors access to a basket of companies that have strong policies and practices in support of women’s empowerment and gender equality,” said Ethan Powell, CEO of Impact Shares.
About Impact Shares
Impact Shares is a nonprofit fund sponsor and investment manager that is creating a new and innovative platform for clients seeking maximum social impact with market returns. Impact Shares' goal is to build a capital markets bridge between leading non-profits, investors and corporate America to direct capital and social engagement on societal priorities. Impact Shares is a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information about Impact Shares visit impactetfs.org.
About YWCA USA:
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. As one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, YWCA USA represents over 200 YWCAs in 46 states and the District of Columbia, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year.
YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more: www.ywca.org.
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