Over 100 exchanges worldwide ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2021’ in recognition of the International Women’s Day 2021

9 March 2021

The SSE is pleased to announce that this year 104 exchanges around the world are involved in holding events for the annual 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality' initiative. Click here to see the list.  For the seventh consecutive year, a global collaboration has resulted in exchanges around the world ringing opening or closing bells to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 (Monday 8 March 2021) and to bring attention to the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to raise awareness about the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).  Today there is more recognition than ever that women bring different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table that make irreplaceable contributions to decisions that work better for all. New UN SSE research, however, shows that women are still underrepresented in key positions in corporations around the world. Gender equality is a fundamental human right, yet despite this, and despite the strong business case for female involvement, women worldwide only make up a very low proportion of executive positions. For example, in the case of G20 markets, women account for 20% of board members, 5.5% of board chairs and just 3.5% of all CEOs. The events (in-person and virtual which started today and will last for one week)  are a partnership between the UN SEE and a coalition of partners including IFC, The World Federation of Exchanges, UN Global Compact, UN Women, and Women in ETFs, 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. Quotes from around the World
James Zhan (Chair, United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges and Director, Investment and Enterprise UNCTAD) said: “Achieving gender equality is integral to sustainable and inclusive development. We are very happy to see over 100 exchanges take part in this year’s Ring the Bell for Gender equality events. We are also encouraged by the fact that 25 exchanges, up from 10 in 2019, are now signatories to the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles. However, as our new research lays out, with women holding only 20% of board seats across listed companies in the G20, we still have a long way to go before we achieve SDG 5 on gender equality. We look forward to working with exchanges and our development partners to help achieve this goal.” 
Nandini Sukumar (CEO of the WFE) said: “We are pleased with the tremendous response from market infrastructures across the world supporting International Women's Day. As public markets we believe in equality of access and the power of market infrastructure to play a role in bringing about sustainable growth and development.’’
Women in ETFs: “There is a natural synergy for Women in ETFs to celebrate International Women’s Day with bell ringings.  Gender equality is central to driving the global economy and the private sector has an important role to play. Our mission is to create opportunities for professional development and advancement of women by expanding connections among women and men in the financial industry.”
Darrin Hartzler (Manager of IFC’s Corporate Governance Group): “Increasing opportunity for women through the career ranks and into the highest levels of corporate leadership can significantly enhance company performance. (...) Evidence from stock exchanges around the world shows that companies with a better gender balance at the top outperform other companies. And stock exchanges want strong performers.”

Press Coverage

Bahrain: Bahrain Bourse 'Rings the Bell for Gender Equality' Brazil: B3 Rings The Bell For Gender Equality - At The Event, The Exchange Announced Free Workshops To Help Listed Companies Attain Greater Diversity And Inclusion Canada: NEO Rings the Bell for Gender Equality in Honour of International Women’s Day China: HKEX Celebrates International Women's Day Costa Rica: Costa Rica Stock Exchange joins Ring the Bell for Gender Equality with tangible results of women's empowerment Japan: JPX And TSE Hold International Women's Day Bell Ringing Ceremony Kuwait: On International Women's day, Boursa Kuwait rings the bell for women's empowerment Nigeria: Nigerian Stock Exchange Calls On Private Sector To Challenge Gender Inequality Qatar: Qatar Stock Exchange Celebrates International Women's Day Spain: The Spanish Stock Exchange Opens The Trading Session On Women's Day Ringing The Bell For Gender Equality Sri Lanka: IFC partners with Colombo Stock Exchange to Ring the Bell for gender equality in Sri Lanka

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.