In the rich tradition of fearless girl and leaning in, Wall Street continues its hollow championing of female empowerment with an exchange-traded fund “for investors who want their money kept far away from sexual harassment in the workplace.” In other words, the ETF will help people invest in companies that satisfy certain standards for supporting and not hurting women.
The Impact Shares YWCA Women’s Empowerment fund is expected to launch in early 2018, Reuters reports. And, according to The Cut, its ticker will be “WOMN.”
The index will track 18 criteria—including bullying policies, the ability to maintain a work-life balance, and promotion opportunities—to determine how good companies are at creating an environment where women aren’t being harassed (or at least aren’t reporting it!). Companies can also be left off the index altogether if they’re dealing with multiple sexual misconduct lawsuits.
Is this ok? you may well ask. After all, it’s not unheard of for Wall Street to offer companies “socially responsible investment” incentives. All I can tell you is that I know it’s bad because Dorri McWhorter, chief executive of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago told Reuters, “When women thrive, whole economies thrive.” Actually, women don’t deserve decency, respect, and fulfilling lives because it’s good for the economy, but because it’s good for them.
I suppose the venture also comes off as opportunistic—a ploy to profit even more, rather than materially redistribute wealth and power, which is always Wall Street’s way.