Eqis Capital Management Inc. has joined the growing number of firms offering a portfolio that focuses on companies run by women.

The San Rafael, Calif., firm is offering the Women CEO Focus portfolio, which will be managed by Kenneth A. Kim, chief financial strategist, and William R. Nelson, chief investment officer.

The portfolio was created after Eqis found that companies with women CEOs tend to outperform their benchmarks, Eqis says.

“During our review of the academic, psychological and economic research, we found that women CEOs took fewer risks and operated more conservatively,” Kim says.

“What we found is that these firms tended to be more profitable and to outpace the S&P 500. In addition, the holdings in this portfolio cross many sectors, including energy, utilities, food and beverage, technology and services, so that brings down the risk of the portfolio,” adds Joel T. Bennett, vice president of business strategy.

The Women CEO Focus portfolio is being offered through Eqis’s network of independent financial advisors.

Others also have begun offering similar portfolios. Ellevate Network, an organization that promotes women as business leaders, has teamed up with asset manager Pax World Management LLC to create a fund focused on investing in companies that advance women.

The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund focuses on investing in companies that are committed to gender diversity on their boards of directors and in executive management and that embrace policies and programs to elevate women in the workplace. Pax says that women hold 31 percent of board seats and 24 percent of senior management positions, on average, in the fund’s portfolio companies, while globally, women only hold 11 percent of senior management positions.

Likewise, U.S. Trust’s Women & Girls Equality Strategy allows investors to apply a gender lens to the asset classes of U.S. equity and taxable corporate fixed income.

This strategy invests in companies that meet financial fundamentals and have progressive policies relating to women, along with a commitment to use of business practices to change the landscape of rights and equality for women, U.S. Trust says. The methodology considers a company’s track record on hiring, retaining and promoting women; female representation in senior management and on the board; wage parity between women and men; career-advancement opportunities; policies on family leave; supply chain practices; and the portrayal of women and girls in advertising.

Morgan Stanley offers the Parity Portfolio, a separately managed account for high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients that focuses specifically on increasing female board representation.

And Barclays Women in Leadership Total Return Index is composed of companies with a female chief executive officer or companies where women make up at least one-fourth of the board of directors. Companies also have to meet specific market capitalization and trading volume thresholds.

In the United States, women comprise nearly half the workforce and they own 40 percent of businesses, and their businesses are growing at twice the rate of all U.S. firms, according to the US SIF Foundation, the forum for sustainable and responsible investment.