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IFC and Bucharest Stock Exchange Ring the Bell for Gender Equality


In Washington, DC:
Loty Salazar (IFC)
Phone: +1-202-458-2559
E-mail:
lsalazar@worldbank.org

In Belgrade:

Slobodan Brkic  

Phone: +381 11 3023 750

E-mail:
sbrkic@ifc.org


Bucharest, Romania, March 8, 2018—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, joined the Bucharest Stock Exchange today 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 global economy and promote sustainable development.

For the fourth consecutive year, stock exchanges around the world, including the Bucharest Stock Exchange, will “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” to celebrate International Women’s Day. This year, over 60 stock exchanges across the world participated in the event, ringing opening or closing bells to mark International Women’s Day 2018.

The Bucharest event highlighted IFC’s support to women entrepreneurs in Romania, including recent loans totaling €32 million to Garanti Group Romania, with half the money earmarked for on-lending to companies owned or managed by women. IFC is also building capacity, raising awareness, and expanding the discussion about gender diversity on boards in the country. Benefits include improved financial performance and shareholder value, and rising investor confidence.


“As business leaders, entrepreneurs, employees and consumers, women are fundamental to inclusive growth,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “IFC will continue supporting women entrepreneurs in Romania, either directly or through our partner banks, and we remain committed to promoting the business case for gender diversity on boards, and in corporate leadership.”

IFC’s support for gender-smart business solutions includes working with companies around the world to generate opportunities for women that also contribute to bottom line benefits; leveraging its relationship with over 1,000 financial institutions and private equity funds to expand access to finance for female entrepreneurs; and promoting good corporate governance practices such as board diversity. With 30 percent female representation among IFC nominee directors on the boards of its own investee companies today, IFC has set a goal of gender parity.


The “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event is a partnership between IFC, the
Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the UN Global Compact, UN Women, Women in ETFs, and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges.

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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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