Legal & General launches £50m GIRL fund focused on gender diversity

Oscar Lopez
(FILES) A picture taken 17 April 2007 in...
Legal & General Investment Management is trying to close the gender pay gap. (Source: Getty)

Investment giant Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has launched a £50m fund that will focus on UK companies which prioritise gender equality.

The company, which manages £983bn in assets, has pledged £50m of its own money into the fund, which it hopes will “empower investors to make a difference to the companies in which they invest and wider society.”

Read more: Gender pay gap 91 per cent for top earners at financial services firms

The company said it will score and rank companies according to a number of gender diversity measures, including the amount of women on the board of directors, women executives, women in management, and women in the workforce.

Companies will be expected to reach a minimum of 30 per cent representation of women across all four measures in order to be eligible for the fund.

Read more: These companies have some of the widest gender pay gaps in the UK

Helena Morrissey, head of personal investing at LGIM said: “Gender inequality is one of the key issues of our time – and one that generates so much frustration. Rather than feeling trapped or despondent, let’s do something about it.”

The fund will track an index of around 350 of the UK’s largest companies, and will provide greater investment to those firms which have achieved a higher level of gender parity.

The new initiative comes as wage disparity between men and women in the UK took centre stage this year, with companies that have over 250 employees required to publish their gender pay gap.

“I’m excited about the launch of the GIRL Fund, which empowers us all to use our money to help companies to progress,” said Morrissey.

“When we invest in the success of women, we are investing in the success of business. Collectively, we can help achieve gender equality and improve gender diversity in the UK.”

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