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IFC and Partners Ring the Bell for Gender Inclusion and Women Empowerment in Jordan


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +(202) 2461-4230
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org

Amman, Jordan, March 12, 2018—For the fourth consecutive year, IFC and stock exchanges around the world, including the Amman Stock Exchange, will “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018—a partnership that highlights how the private sector can spur women’s participation in the global economy and promote sustainable development.

IFC representatives, business leaders, investors, government officials, civil society members, and other key partners will gather today to highlight the business case for gender equality. The event will also showcase steps taken by Jordanian companies to empower women in the workplace.

“As business leaders, entrepreneurs, employees and consumers, women are fundamental to inclusive growth—creating business models that boost job growth, build capital markets and raise per-capita incomes while promoting sustainable development,” said Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer.

Studies show that female talent is among the least utilized business resources in the world. Making even small inroads in closing the global gender gap could quickly yield strong results, with the potential to increase the global gross domestic product by $5.3 trillion over the next seven years, according to a 2017 report from the World Economic Forum.

The chairman of the board of directors, Jawad Al Anani, said “We believe in gender diversity and the role women can play in spurring economic growth and ensuring business sustainability"

In Jordan, the gender gap remains wide, especially in the upper echelons of the corporate world. An IFC study of 1,200 companies found women held just 6 percent of all board seats at those firms. In publicly listed companies, women held only 21 percent of senior management positions. For companies, the failure to capitalize on the skills of women—for example, by adding more women to their boards and ranks of senior leadership—represents a substantial opportunity cost. According to a recent IFC study, companies with female directors performed significantly better than those without, with a return on assets three times higher and return on equity twice as high.

“Gender equality is obviously important at a social level, helping to fight poverty and extend human rights to all,” said Dalia Wahba, IFC Country Manager for the Levant. “At a corporate level, it is a must. Companies simply cannot continue to ignore the talents of half of the population if they want to grow and thrive”

Now in its fourth iteration, a collaboration with over 60 stock exchanges around the world will “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2018. The effort highlights how the private sector can increase women’s participation in the global economy and promote sustainable development.

The event is part of IFC’s efforts in Jordan to support gender diversity. The event at the Amman Stock Exchange is supported by the Government of Canada.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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About the Women’s Empowerment Principles

The Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles outline seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to build strong economies; establish more stable and just societies; achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights; improve quality of life for women, men, families and communities; and propel business' operations and goals. Learn more at https://www.empowerwomen.org/en/weps/about

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, labor, 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 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 70 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, programs 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 3,700 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. 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: WE achieves this by organizing events at our chapters globally that support our goals of education, networking, philanthropy and idea sharing across the industry and beyond. For more information, visit: www. womeninetfs.com to learn more, join, or sponsor. Follow us on Twitter: @WomeninETFs and 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: https://www.world-exchanges.org