Global Markets Support Gender Equality: 65 Stock Exchanges Ring their Bells to Raise Awareness on Gender Equality

9 March 2018

(9 March 2018) For the fourth year running, a global coalition of stock exchanges committed to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” to mark  International Women’s Day (8 March 2018).  The partnership between the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, IFC, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs aims to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development. Each year new stock exchanges join this coalition, now on its fourth year and adding 20 new participating exchanges this year. Stock exchanges are a powerful voice to the business community and it is impressive to see so many exchanges around the world standing up for gender equality in their markets,” UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said. “Gender equality in the boardroom and the management team not only enhances the effectiveness of companies but creates the conditions for defending women’s rights more broadly throughout industry and society.” “Research continues to show that female representation in leadership improves performance metrics such as ROA, ROE, and EPS while reducing volatility,” Fiona Reynolds, Executive Director of the PRI said. “Yet, as of 2017 there are only 32 female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list; and this is the highest proportion of female CEOs in the 63-year history of the Fortune 500.” James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD’s Investment and Enterprise Division, said: “International investment mechanisms are not only a driver of poverty reduction but can also be a force for achieving important social goals such as gender equality. We applaud the stock exchanges around the world that are marking International Women’s Day by promoting gender equality in the workplace.” The UN theme for International Women’s Day this year is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives ” focusing on empowering women in all settings, rural and urban, and to celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential. As part of the gender bell events, participants are encouraged to make commitments to improve gender equality in their markets, such as signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, improving diversity in senior management and on the boards of directors, developing more gender-friendly policies, developing a gender-themed investment product, or improving transparency on gender policies and practices. The SSE continues to work with exchanges to explore ways they can advance this issue across their local markets, using the SSE Gender Equality Guidance as a key resource for exchanges looking to engage companies and investors. While speaking at Nasdaq Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, called on companies to sign onto the Women’s Empowerment Principles: “The WEPs help companies advance gender equality and empower women in the workplace, market place and community. We have also created the WEPs Gap Analysis Tool to further assist businesses looking to improve their gender practices”. To see a full list of exchanges participating, as well as our Gender Equality video, please visit the SSE website. Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative The SSE is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges—in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies—can encourage sustainable investment and enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues. The SSE is convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). For more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts, how to become a Partner Stock Exchange, and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets, visit Follow us on Twitter: @sseinitiative.

Press Coverage

  • Argentina  - CNV and BYMA promoted 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality' (via / President of BIND Banco Industrial participates in 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality' (via iprofessional)
  • Bangladesh - DSE joins hands with IFC to promote women empowerment (via The Daily Star)
  • Brazil  - B3 joins global stock exchange mobilisation for gender equality (via mondovisione)
  • Canada - TMX Group: Women in ETFs  opens the market on International Women's Day (via mondovisione) / International Women's Day opens the market (via Business Insider)
  • Denmark - International Women's Day on the stock exchange: Reason will prevail in the end (via Finanswatch) / Nasdaq Copenhagen Rings the Bell (via DR TV)
  • Fiji - SPSE rings bell for International Women's Day (via Fiji Sun)
  • Georgia - Georgian Stock Exchange, IFC, CiDA & UN Women 'Ring the Bell' for gender equality in Tbilisi (via Georgia Today)
  • Iceland - International Women's Day was held (via Visir)
  • Ireland  - Women in ETFs 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality' at the ISE (via mondovisione)
  • Jordan  - Business world 'rings bell' for closing gender gap in Jordan's economy (via The Jordan Times)
  • Kuwait  - Kuwait the first country in GCC to join 'Ring the Bell' initiative (via Albawaba)
  • Lithuania - Women's Leadership and Careers (via Verslo Zinios)
  • Mongolia  - IFC and Mongolian Stock Exchange join other bourses to ring the bell for gender equality (via The Financial)
  • Nasdaq - Nasdaq 'Rings the Bell for Gender Equality' (via Nasdaq)
  • Nigeria - Gender equality: NSE joins other Exchanges in bell ringing (via New Telegraph) / Nigerian Stock Exchange partners with United Nations to promote gender parity (via mondovisione) / Nigerian Stock Exchange calls for acceleration of gender equality (via mondovisione)
  • Philippines - PSE joins global bell ringing (via SunStar)
  • Russia - MOEX Rings the bell for gender equality (via mondovisione)
  • Spain - BME: Bell ringing ceremony for gender equality (via mondovisione)
  • Sri Lanka - IFC, CSE join to ring bell for gender equality (via ColomboPage)
  • Sweden - Nasdaq Stockholm celebrated International Women's Day (via Di)
  • Switzerland - Women in ETFs at Swiss Exchange (via mondovisione)
  • Thailand  - Ringing the bell for women's rights (via Bangkok Post)
  • Uganda - USE boss urges companies on gender equality (via The Observer)
  • UAE  - DFM joins 61 global exchanges in ringing bell for gender equality (via Gulf News)
  • USA - Women in ETFs march toward equality (via Fox Business)
  • West Africa - The BVRM is ringing the bell for gender equality (via Financial Afrik)

About the Partner Organizations IFC IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @IFC_org United Nations Global Compact The United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Global Compact is a leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible corporate practices. Launched in 2000, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 70 Local Networks. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @globalcompact UN Women UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @UN_Women World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) Established in 1961, the WFE is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. The WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics and publishes over 350 market data indicators. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed companies. The WFE promotes the development of fair, efficient and transparent markets. It works with policy makers, regulators and standard-setters around the world to support the development of effective rules and standards for exchanges and market participants. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter: @TheWFE Women in ETFs Women in ETFs is the first women’s group for the ETF industry. Founded in January 2014, WE is a nonprofit organization that brings together over 3,900 members, including women and men, in chapters in major financial centers across the United States, Canada, EMEA and Asia Pacific to further the careers of women by leveraging our collective skill and ambition. Women in ETFs brings together women and men in the ETF industry in the United States, Canada, EMEA and Asia Pacific to: 1) CONNECT— Create opportunities for professional advancement of women by expanding connections among women and men in the ETF industry, 2) SUPPORT— Offer guidance for the current and next generation of women in ETFs and 3) INSPIRE— WE achieves this by organizing events at our chapters globally that support our goals of education, networking, philanthropy and idea sharing across the industry and beyond.. For more information, visit: www. to learn more, join, or sponsor. Follow us on Twitter: @WomeninETFs and on Linkedin: Women in ETFs About the Women’s Empowerment Principles The Women's Empowerment Principles Equality Means Business is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles outline seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to build strong economies; establish more stable and just societies; achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights; improve quality of life for women, men, families and communities; and propel business' operations and goals. Learn more at

About the SSE

​The SSE initiative is a UN Partnership Programme organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP FI and the PRI. The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SSE seeks to achieve this mission through an integrated programme of conducting evidence-based policy analysis, facilitating a network and forum for multi-stakeholder consensus-building, and providing technical assistance and advisory services.