(New York, 7 March 2016) – In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March), 34 stock exchanges
around the world are joining the UN Global Compact
and the Global Compact Local Networks
from 3-11 March in a global “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” partnership to highlight the business case for achieving gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.
The campaign kicks off in New York on 7 March with the first opening bell at IEX with the UN Global Compact’s Executive Director Lise Kingo to raise awareness that gender equality as central to driving the global economy and achieving all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On 8 March, bells for gender equality will ring at the opening of the New York Stock Exchange followed by the closing bell and panel discussion at NASDAQ. This event will emphasize how the UN Global Compact is prompting business to advance gender equality by taking an integrated approach to unlocking the power of women in business and society.
"Gender equality is essential for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, and the private sector must play its role by providing equal opportunities for women throughout their operations and value chains.” says Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. "Stock exchanges can have an enormous impact by encouraging gender diversity within listed companies and ensuring accessibility of capital market services to women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs.”
At the event, participants will recognize the Women’s Empowerment Principles
(WEPs), a joint initiative between the UN Global Compact and UN Women, which act as an integrated approach to invoke transformative change. The WEPs provide a framework for business to advance women’s empowerment and elaborate the gender dimension of corporate sustainability. To date, over 1,100 business leaders from 80 countries have endorsed the WEPs, signaling their support for equality between men and women and the guidance provided by the Principles.
About the Partner Organizations
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 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
Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)
In 2010, the UN Global Compact and UN Women launched the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)– seven Principles for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community. The WEPs provide a ready-made platform to mobilize corporate action and catalyze partnerships and collaborations that have the potential to deepen and accelerate impact. Learn more at www.weprinciples.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