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World Federation of Exchanges & five partner organisations bring together 43 stock exchanges to ‘Ring The Bell For Gender Equality’

London, 8 March 2017 – The World Federation of Exchanges ("WFE"), which represents more than 200 market infrastructure providers including exchanges and CCPs, is pleased to confirm that its member exchanges are taking part in the third annual 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality' series this week.

In total, 43 stock exchanges around the world will ring opening or closing bells between 6-10 March 2017, to celebrate International Women's Day 2017 today, Wednesday 8 March 2017.

These events - organised in partnership between Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the IFC, Women in ETFs and the World Federation of Exchanges - raise awareness about the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development. The key message is that gender equality is central to driving the global economy, and the private sector has an important role to play.

The 'Ring the Bell' event series, themed Women at Work this year, will serve to highlight the role of women, and the opportunity for business. This will involve encouraging stakeholders to remove legal, social, and economic barriers that are restricting women's economic empowerment.

As part of the events, participants are encouraged to make commitments to improve gender equality in their markets, such as signing the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), improving diversity in senior management and on the board, developing more gender-friendly policies, developing a gender-themed investment product, or improving transparency on gender policies and practices.

Nandini Sukumar, CEO, WFE said: "It is inspiring to see 43 exchanges taking part in the third year of this important initiative, and we are particularly proud that so many of our members and affiliates are ringing bells this week. Gender equality is not only a critical social issue, but an economic one too."

The exchanges taking part can be found here.

This week also sees the launch of an SSE-GIZ* report entitled 'How Stock Exchanges can advance gender equality'. The report looks at the state of gender equality globally, provides case studies on exchanges in 13 markets, and suggests recommendations for further action.

Key findings include:

  • Exchanges, through their unique relationships with both companies and investors, are well placed to address female representation in leadership, pay parity, family leave, sexual harassment in the workplace, flexible work, and support for women-owned small business.
  • Research shows that empowering women in each of these areas is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do with overwhelming evidence of positive-business impacts.
  • Exchanges are taking practical action to advance gender equality around the world through listing requirements, voluntary guidance documents, investment products, internal policies, awareness raising efforts and more.
  • While there are commendable examples of best practice, there is still room for improvement. For example, of the 15 exchanges profiled in the report, a third track pay parity across their own organisations, and only two offer investment products that screen for gender-specific metrics.

Please download the report here: https://www.unpri.org/download_report/28929 and you can also download a two-page quick reference guide here: https://www.unpri.org/download_report/29009

*The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH or GIZ in short is a German development agency headquartered in Bonn and Eschborn that provides services in the field of international development cooperation.

- Ends -

About the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE):

Established in 1961, the WFE is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. Headquartered in London, it represents over 200 market infrastructure providers, including standalone CCPs that are not part of exchange groups. Of our members, 41 percent are in the Asia-Pacific region, 40 percent in EMEA and 19 percent in the Americas. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed companies, and the market capitalisation of these entities is over $67.9 trillion; furthermore, around $84.18 trillion (EOB) in trading annually passes through the infrastructures WFE members safeguard (at end 2016).

The WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics, and publishes over 350 market data indicators. Its statistics database stretches back more than 40 years, and provides information and insight into developments on global exchanges.

The WFE works with standard-setters, policy makers, regulators and government organisations around the world to support and promote the development of fair, transparent, stable and efficient markets. The WFE shares regulatory authorities' goals of ensuring the safety and soundness of the global financial system, which is critical to enhancing investor and consumer confidence, and promoting economic growth.

For more information, please contact:

Anna Watson

Head of Communications, World Federation of Exchanges

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +44 20 7151 4137 / +44 7850 287 685

Twitter: @WFE

About the other Partner Organisations:

IFC

As a member of the World Bank Group, IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it's needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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. Follow us on Twitter: @sseinitiative

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. For more information, visit www.unglobalcompact.org. Follow us on Twitter: @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 www.unwomen.org

Women in ETFs:

Women in ETFs is the first women's group for the ETF industry. Founded in January 2014, WE is a non-profit organization that brings together over 2,500 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: Provide forums for education and idea sharing across the industry and beyond. For more information, visit: www. womeninetfs.com. Follow us on Twitter: @WomeninETFs. Follow us on Linkedin: Women in ETFs 

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