£50m ‘Girl Fund’ to promote workforce diversity in the UK

One of Britain’s biggest investment firms is tackling gender inequality by launching the first UK fund to invest in companies with good gender balance.

Girl Fund
© reynermedia at Flickr

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has ploughed £50m to invest in companies where women are well represented at all levels with the aim “to empower investors to make a difference to the companies in which they invest”.

The Guardian revealed recently that almost eight out of 10 employers paid men more than women in the UK and data showed that women received a  median hourly rate which on average was 9.7% less than what their male colleagues were being paid.

The L&G fund is formally called the L&G World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund, but it is now dubbed as “the Girl Fund”.

Helena Morrissey, the head of personal investing at LGIM and one of the highest-profile women working in the City, said gender inequality “is one of the key issues of our time – and one that generates so much frustration”.

The firm intends to score and rank blue-chip companies by looking at the percentage of women on the board of directors; at executive level; in management; and across the workforce. A minimum of 30% representation of women will be expected from the companies.

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