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IFC and Bucharest Stock Exchange ‘Ring the Bell’ for Gender Equality

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Wednesday joined the Bucharest Stock Exchange in a global initiative to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”—a partnership that highlights how the private sector can spur global growth by helping ensure that women participate in economic activity at the same rate as men, a press release sent by WB to ACTMedia informs..

Forty-two stock exchanges across the world participated in the event, ringing opening or closing bells to mark International Women’s Day. The Bucharest event highlighted IFC’s support to women entrepreneurs in Romania, including loans provided to Garanti-Romania for on-lending to women entrepreneurs and training for female business executives on leadership and board functions.

“Reducing the gap between men and women in the private sector is not only a moral imperative but enables companies to improve their performance and economies to grow,” said Gokhan Kont, IFC Manager for Global Industry, Financial Markets and Financial Institutions Group operations. “IFC will continue supporting women entrepreneurs in Romania, either directly or through our partner banks.”

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.

“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,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the Western Balkans. “In Romania, we remain committed to engaging our business partners to promote the business case for gender diversity on boards and improve gender diversity in corporate leadership.”

Research shows improving opportunities for women in the private sector can add trillions of dollars to global GDP, boost productivity, generate higher return on investments, and promote greater organizational effectiveness. By leveraging its relationships with about 1,000 financial institutions and private equity funds, IFC helps expand access to finance for women entrepreneurs. In 2016, IFC clients provided 670,000 jobs to women in emerging economies.

The “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event series is a partnership of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, together with the UN Global CompactUN WomenIFCWomen in ETFs and the World Federation of Exchanges. Its aim is to raise awareness about the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.

About the Partner Organizations

IFC 
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 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, 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 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, 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, visitwww.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 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.womeninetfs.com  Follow 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: https://www.world-exchanges.

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