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Women in ETFs and Five Partner Organizations Ring the Bell for Gender Equality at 34 Stock Exchanges Around the World

March 4, 2016

For the second year in a row, Women in ETFs (WE) will ring the bells at stock exchanges around the world to celebrate International Women's Day (8 March). This year, WE is partnering with five other organizations in a growing momentum behind gender equality. WE is leading 15 of the 34 stock exchange bell ringings at which WE will also host speakers to present the business case for women's economic empowerment. 

To commemorate International Women's Day, 34 stock exchanges from around the world joined Women in ETFs, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, IFC, and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges, to "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality," raising awareness about the business case for women's economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.

"There is a natural synergy for WE to celebrate International Women's Day," said Joanne Hill, Co-Founder and Co-President of WE and Head of Institutional Investment Strategy at ProShares. "Stock exchanges are a key industry partner in the Exchange Traded Fund industry globally with whom WE and its members maintain strong ongoing relationships in our chapters around the globe. Stock exchanges provide a natural high-visibility platform in which to amplify the gender equality message", continued Hill.

"Studies such as the new survey by the Peterson Institute for International Economics of 21,980 publicly traded companies in 91 countries demonstrates that the presence of more female leaders in top positions of corporate management correlates with increased profitability of these companies" said Deborah Fuhr, Co-Founder of WE and Managing Partner of ETFGI.

Jill Mavro Co-President of WE, Senior Managing Director at State Street Global Advisors, says Stock exchanges can play a vital role by encouraging gender diversity on the boards and in the management of listed companies, and ensuring accessibility of capital market services to women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs.

WE is the lead partner on 15 of the 34 bell ringing celebrations noted in yellow below on the next page which will include WE leadership, corporate sponsors, and members, and will take place from March 7 -11th.

About the Partner Organizations

About Women in ETFs

Women in ETFs is (WE) is the first women's group for the ETF industry. Founded in January 2014, WE is a non-profit organization that brings together 1,700 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. WE achieves this by organizing events at our chapters globally that support our goals of education, networking, and philanthropy. The three major objectives for WE are: 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. 3. INSPIRE: Provide forums for education and idea sharing across the industry and beyond. Visit us at womeninetfs.com to learn more, join, or sponsor. Follow us on Twitter @WomeninETFs and LinkedIn.

UN 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 8,000 companies and 4,000 non-business signatories based in over 170 countries, and more than 85 Local Networks. www.unglobalcompact.org

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. To learn more at: http://www.unwomen.org

The 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 www.sseinitiative.org

IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it's needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

World Federation of Exchanges

The World Federation of Exchanges is the trade association for the operators of regulated financial exchanges. With 64 members from around the globe, the WFE develops and promotes standards in markets, supporting reform in the regulation of OTC derivatives markets, international cooperation and coordination among regulators. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed companies. WFE statistics database covers more than 350 indicators and 70 years of data from exchanges worldwide. www.world-exchanges.org 

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