SSE, IFC, UN Women launch two benchmarks on gender equality in corporate leadership

15 December 2022

On the 14th of December 2022, the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (UN SSE) in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and UN Women launched two reports on gender equality in leadership as part of the SSE’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Webinars:  1. Gender equality on corporate leadership: analysis of issuers on G20 stock exchanges: This report includes the 22 major stock markets found in G20 countries, organised according to the gender balance of issuers’ boards. This publication is an update of last year’s benchmarking exercise and covers 2,171 of the largest listed companies in G20 countries. Available here   2. Regional analysis of gender equality on corporate leadership: In this second report, the research goes beyond the G20 countries by including 35 major stock markets from 7 different regions, organised according to the gender balance of issuers’ boards. The research covers the boards of 3,246 of the largest companies by market capitalization. Available here During the webinars the speakers shared examples of what their organizations or exchanges are doing to promote gender equality in corporate leadership and commented on different interventions to discuss the role of stock exchanges can take in this regard. There was a common thread among all the presenters that there is a deficit on what the exchanges and listed companies are disclosing in relation to data, which should go above and beyond the gender balance on boards and senior management, and include other indicators. The webinars included speakers from Bursa Malaysia, Euronext Paris, Federación Iberoamericana de Bolsas (FIAB), IFC, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange Group, the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange, UN Women, 30% Club and were moderated by IFC. Main highlights of the G20 report:
  • The percentage of women on boards in G20 countries has increased from 2021 by 1.3 percentage points to 23%. Women hold 4,950 of the 21,561 board seats analyzed in G20 countries.
  • The percentage of female CEOs in G20 countries grew from 3.5% in 2021 to 5% this year for the over twenty thousand firms analyzed.
  • Euronext Paris continues to have the highest percentage of women on boards in the G20: 45% of board seats in the top 100 issuers.
  • Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) continues to be the only emerging market stock exchange within the G20 that is above the G20 average for women on boards, with 32% of board seats held by women.
  • Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) was the most improved market, increasing the percentage of women on boards in Indonesia by 4.4%.
As many investors and regulators are focused on gender-balanced boardrooms and senior management teams, these market monitors provide useful data for benchmarking, rulemaking and supporting active engagement and dialogue with listed companies,”  said Martine Valcin, Global Manager for Corporate Governance, Advisory, Knowledge and Learning for IFC. “In many markets, much progress must be made to achieve gender-balanced corporate leadership. These market monitors provide actionable insights to design targeted interventions stock exchanges and other stakeholders may take to foster more gender diversity in corporate leadership. “Studies show that diversity of all types increases an organization’s productivity and innovation. This is why gender balance is part of Euronext’s corporate culture and SDG 5 has been identified as a main objective of the Euronext strategy. We hope that in a near future, quota policies are no longer needed. For the moment, we applaud the results of these policies in France, and we welcome the adaptation of the EU "Women on Boards" directive to ensure at least 40% of non-executive director posts or 33% of all director posts on publicly listed firms, are occupied by women by June 2026.” Camille Leca, Group Head of ESG at Euronext.The gender equality benchmark gives us an insight on where we are now, the gaps in existing policies, and where we want to be. We will look at the guidance provided in the report to see which action items can be adopted by PSE to further improve gender equality in corporate leadership among the Philippine publicly listed companies.” Veronica Del Rosario, General Counsel of the Philippine Stock Exchange. In 2015, the SSE worked with our partners to launch the Ring the Bell for Gender Equality events, which are now held by over a hundred stock exchanges every year. Measuring the impact of these events and the many other activities exchanges are taking to advance gender equality is important,” said Anthony Miller, Coordinator of the UN SSE. “The data in these Market Monitors gives us cause to celebrate progress while simultaneously identifying how much more needs to be done.”  Gender equality is one of the SSE's main areas of work. In 2022, the SSE published jointly with IFC and UN Women a guide to which is an updated and expanded version of its first 2017 guide. The Spanish version of the 2022 guide and a benchmark on gender equality in major Latin American markets were also published on 13 Dec 2022. These annual Market Monitors aim to measure the progress of gender equality in corporate leadership over time.            Call 1
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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.