ETF Watch: Exchange Bells Ring For Gender Equality

March 07, 2017

Six organizations, including Women In ETFs (WE), are participating in bell ringings at 43 stock exchanges around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” is in its third year and is intended to promote the business case for women’s economic empowerment and publicize ways that the private sector can support gender equality and sustainable development, a press release said. The bell ringings are taking place March 2 through March 10.

Women In ETFs, a nonprofit organization that aims to further the careers of women in the ETF industry, is the lead partner at 17 of the bell ringing ceremonies. Other participants include the UN Global Compact, UN Women, the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, IFC and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges. In 2016, 34 exchanges participated in the bell ringings, up from just nine in 2015.

'Natural Synergy'

“There is a natural synergy for WE to celebrate International Women’s Day. Our mission is to further the careers of women today by leveraging our collective skill and ambition,” said Jill Mavro, co-president of WE and senior managing director at State Street Global Advisors’ SPDR unit.

The Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative also marked the occasion with the release Monday of a publication titled “How Stock Exchanges Can Advance Gender Equality”  written with German development agency GIZ. The paper notes such findings as the fact that women take home one-tenth of global income but are responsible for two-thirds of global working hours.

It also finds that despite evidence that female representation in leadership improves performance in terms of ROA, ROE, EPS and volatility, women still make up a mere fraction of senior management roles or higher positions. For example, a survey of 1,000 listed companies by Bloomberg revealed that women held just 23% of senior management positions and  just 3% of the companies had female CEOs.

Eliminating Gender Gaps

The report further determines that women-owned small businesses have the potential to add roughly $285 billion to the global economy and that the global economy could grow by $28 trillion by 2025 if gender gaps were eliminated, the press release noted.

"Gender equality is central to driving the global economy, and the private sector has an important role to play," said Diana Tidd, WE’s other co-president and the head of indexes at MSCI.

WE held its first event in 2014 and has since grown to more than 2,600 members, with chapters in the U.S., Canada, the EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

Contact Heather Bell at [email protected].

 

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