Sustainable Finance Initiative on Gender Equality

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) released its third report on How stock exchanges can advance gender equality. This report has been supported by GIZ’s Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance (EMDF).

Studies repeatedly find that addressing gender equality will unlock trillions of dollars of currently unrealised investment value.

The report examines the contribution exchanges can specifically make towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.

“Gender equality is an issue that impacts everyone, from diversity in leadership, to family leave policies, to equal opportunities for education,“ said Fiona Reynolds, managing director of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). “Investors have an important role to play in closing the gender gap by engaging with not only companies, but also stock exchanges and policymakers.“

A number of recommendations to enhance the positive impact of stock exchanges on gender equality were developed. Among them:

  • Transparency: Require reporting on gender metrics, i.e. related policies and objectives of companies listed
  • Product offerings: Introduce gender equality standards into exchange-offered investment products
  • Policies, training and education: Develop policies for topics such as female representation, pay parity, etc. in line with international best practice
  • Advocacy and Partnerships: Encourage listed companies to implement the Women's Empowerment Principles, a holistic framework to advance gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.

“As stock exchanges have the capacity to impact and direct the flow of money within capital markets, they possess great potential to exert significant influence over a broad range of sustainability-related aspects, among them clearly gender equality”, explains Nina Roth, Senior Advisor Sustainable Finance, EMDF.

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Report: How stock exchange can advance gender equality
(Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, March 2017)



Forbes: Ring The Bell: Stock Exchange Initiative Calls Listed Businesses To Account On Gender Equality (5 March 2017)


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