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Q&A with Stephanie Pierce

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June 2023

Stephanie Pierce, CEO of Dreyfus, Mellon and Exchange-Traded Funds, answers a few questions about the recent BNY Mellon Women’s Opportunities ETF (BKWO) launch — and how BNY Mellon is doing well by doing good.

 Why launch the Women’s Opportunities ETF and why now?

Gender equality is not only a focus for BNY Mellon, but also for many of our clients. While women in the workplace have made significant strides over the past four decades, we have begun to see their participation levels decline the past few years. This ETF provides our clients with an opportunity to help gender equality outcomes and potentially earn attractive investment returns.

 How did you identify gender equality as an investment theme?

Research shows that companies with more diverse leadership teams tend to deliver higher levels of profitability and higher returns over time. Put simply, firms that do a good job recruiting, retaining and supporting women in the workplace tend to out-perform firms that don’t. We believe this theme provides investors with a compelling opportunity and are excited to bring to market an ETF managed by two female portfolio managers, Julianne D. McHugh and Karen Miki Behr, and sub-advised by Newton Investment Management.

 What types of companies does the Women’s Opportunities ETF invest in?

The fund primarily invests in firms whose corporate culture embodies gender equality and companies that deliver products and services, such as childcare, to enhance the lives of women. The portfolio managers look beyond the numbers to assess the underlying strength of the business when selecting companies for the fund.

Can you talk about the fund’s charitable dimension?

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Girls Inc., the non-profit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. According to the 2022 Girls Inc. Strong, Smart and Bold Outcomes Survey, 90% of Girls Inc. girls agreed that they will graduate from college, and 81% of girls agreed that they could make a positive difference in their community.

When a client invests in this fund, the fund’s Investment Adviser will contribute 10% of its management fee, after any fee waivers or expense reimbursements, annually to Girls Inc.1  The BNY Mellon Foundation has been instrumental in creating this partnership and is providing additional grant funding to support this great organization.

What does launching this product mean to you?

As a woman who has worked in our industry for over three decades, I’m honored to play a role in building this opportunity for our clients. This fund is another inspiring example of how BNY Mellon is helping to level the playing field for underserved groups. Last year, we launched the Dreyfus BOLD Shares, in which the investment adviser for the fund contributes a donation from its profits to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. With the BNY Mellon Women’s Opportunities ETF, we are aiming to deliver a product that resonates with our clients, while having a positive impact on society— and that’s a powerful combination. 

1The Adviser and/or certain of its affiliates intend to make financial contributions to one or more charitable or non-profit organizations, which are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as Amended (the Code), and seek to promote the development, advancement and/or leadership of women and/or Girls (Organizations).


Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a fund carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus, or a summary prospectus, if available, that contains this and other information about a fund, contact your financial professional or visit Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.

ETF shares are listed on an exchange, and shares are generally purchased and sold in the secondary market at market price. At times, the market price may be at a premium or discount to the ETF’s per share NAV. In addition, ETFs are subject to the risk that an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained. Buying or selling ETF shares on an exchange may require the payment of broker commissions. 

ETFs trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Equities are subject to market, market sector, market liquidity, issuer, and investment style risks, among other factors, to varying degrees. The risks of investing in these ETFs typically reflect the risks associated with the types of instruments in which the ETF invests. Diversification cannot assure a profit or protect against loss.

The fund will issue (or redeem) the fund shares to certain institutional investors known as “Authorized Participants” (typically market makers or other broker-dealers) only in large blocks of fund shares known as “Creation Units.” BNY Mellon Securities Corporation (“BNYMSC”), a subsidiary of BNY Mellon, serves as distributor of the fund and of other funds in the BNY Mellon Family of Funds. BNYMSC does not distribute fund shares in less than Creation Units, nor does it maintain a secondary market in fund shares. BNYMSC may enter into selected agreements with Authorized Participants for the sale of Creation Units of fund shares. 

Equities are subject to market, market sector, market liquidity, issuer, and investment style risks to varying degrees. Small and midsized company stocks tend to be more volatile and less liquid than larger company stocks as these companies are less established and have more volatile earnings histories.

BNY Mellon Women’s Opportunities ETF: The fund’s incorporation of Women’s Opportunities considerations into its investment approach may cause the fund to make different investments than funds that invest principally in equity securities but do not incorporate Women’s Opportunities considerations when selecting investments. Under certain economic conditions, this could cause the fund to underperform funds that do not incorporate Women’s Opportunities considerations. 

Healthcare sector risk. The healthcare sector is subject to government regulation and reimbursement rates, as well as government approval of products and services, which could have a significant effect on price and availability. Furthermore, the types of products or services produced or provided by healthcare companies quickly can become obsolete. In addition, companies in the healthcare sector can be significantly affected by patent expirations, pricing pressure, and product liability claims.

Information technology sector risk. The information technology sector has been among the most volatile sectors of the stock market. Information technology companies involve greater risk because their revenue and/or earnings tend to be less predictable (and some companies may be experiencing significant losses) and their share prices tend to be more volatile. Certain information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources, or may depend on a limited management group. In addition, these companies are strongly affected by worldwide technological developments, and their products and services may not be economically successful or may quickly become outdated. Investor perception may play a greater role in determining the day-to-day value of information technology stocks than it does in other sectors. Fund investments may decline dramatically in value if anticipated products or services are delayed or cancelled. 

The fund is non-diversified, which means that the fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. Therefore, performance may be more vulnerable to changes in the market value of a single issuer or group of issuers and more susceptible to risks associated with a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified fund.

This material has been distributed for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular investment, strategy, investment manager or account arrangement and should not serve as a primary basis for investment decisions. Please consult a legal, tax or financial professional in order to determine whether an investment product or service is appropriate for a particular situation. 

“Newton” and/or the “Newton Investment Management” refers to Newton Investment Management North America, LLC. Newton is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment adviser. Newton is a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

BNY Mellon Investment Management is one of the world’s leading investment management organizations, encompassing BNY Mellon’s affiliated investment management firms and global distribution companies. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and may also be used as a generic term to reference the Corporation as a whole or its various subsidiaries generally. BNY Mellon ETF Investment Adviser, LLC is the investment adviser, Newton is the fund’s sub-adviser and BNY Mellon Securities Corporation is the distributor of the ETF funds. Each are subsidiaries of BNY Mellon. 

Girls Inc. and BNY Mellon are not affiliated companies.

© 2023 BNY Mellon Securities Corporation, distributor, 240 Greenwich Street, 9th Floor, New York NY, 10286. 

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