Amman, Jordan, March 9, 2017—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, the Amman Stock Exchange, and the Jordan
Institute of Directors are joining 43 stock exchanges around the world
in a global initiative to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” —a
partnership that highlights how the private sector can spur women’s participation
in the economy.
While half of the world’s women participate in the labour market, many
have fewer employment opportunities and lower incomes than their male counterparts.
In developing countries, they also have less access to capital and property
ownership, slowing growth. IFC has estimated a $300 billion global gap
in financing for formal, women-owned small businesses. More than 70 percent
of women-owned small and medium enterprises have inadequate or no access
to financial services.
“Evidence from stock exchanges around
the world demonstrates that listed companies with women representation
on boards outperform those without. IFC welcomes the unified and powerful
voice that stock exchanges add to advocating for equal gender representation
on companies’ boards as a smart business strategy,” said Ethiopis Tafara,
IFC Vice President for Sustainability and Integrity Risk and General Counsel.
Women in Jordan make up 15 percent of
the labour force. Nearly four-fifths of listed firms do not have any women
on their boards, according to a recent study
by IFC. The study, which examined over 1200 Jordanian companies, found
that those with female directors performed significantly better than those
without, with a return on assets three times higher and return on equity
twice as high.
“Balanced boardrooms result in higher productivity and returns on investment
for companies, and better organizational effectiveness, which encourages
new investments and boost economic growth” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC Regional
Head of Operations in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the Middle East and North Africa, stock exchanges in Cairo and Amman
are ringing the bells to mark International Women’s Day and raise awareness
about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities
for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.
IFC believe that women—as consumers, employees, business leaders, and
entrepreneurs—have the potential to transform the global economy, supporting
job creation, raising per-capita incomes, and promoting sustainable development.
Now in its third iteration, the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event
series is a partnership of IFC, Sustainable
Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative,
in ETFs, and the World
Federation of Stock Exchanges.
As a member of the World Bank Group,
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
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
Follow us on Twitter: @globalcompact
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
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.
us on Twitter: @WomeninETFs. Follow us on Linkedin: Women in ETFs
World Federation of Exchanges (WFE):
Established in 1961, the WFE is the global
industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. The WFE is the
definitive source for exchange-traded statistics and publishes over 350
market data indicators. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed
companies. The WFE promotes the development of fair, efficient and transparent
markets. It works with policy makers, regulators and standard-setters around
the world to support the development of effective rules and standards for
exchanges and market participants. For more information, please visit: