Do you hear that? It’s the sound of cracking glass.
2012 marked a good year for women. Over in the Senate, we now have a record 20 female senators, out of 100. And in the list of Fortune 500 companies, there are a record 19 women.
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OK, so the fact that 3.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs, and 5% of the Fortune 1,000 (5.2% if you include two CEOs starting in 2013) are females doesn’t speak much to a complete closure of the gender gap. That’s why we send cracking, not shattering glass.
Looking at this data, two questions might come to mind (well, there are a lot more, but we’ll stick to these two for now):
- Do female CEOs perform any better or worse, on average, than male CEOs?
- Can I do anything to support female CEOs?
Now a new stock index could answer both those questions. The startup Motif Investing, a company that creates themed collections of stocks that people can invest in for a low fee, has created a “motif” called No Glass Ceilings that tracks companies who’ve had a female CEO for more than a year. (The year limit means it doesn’t yet include Yahoo!, which is headed up by Marissa Mayer.)
So now you could invest a chunk of your money exclusively in companies run by female CEOs as a measure of your support–sort of like a gender equality-flavored socially responsible investing. The index also lets you track how those female-led corporations are doing compared to the market at large. So far in 2012, Motif Investing says that the S&P 500 and the No Glass Ceiling motif have almost equal returns at about 15%. Take a look for yourself at the index’s performance.
We’ll be looking forward to the day when this index seems like a moot point.
Image credit: Flickr/World Economic Forum