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UNGCNA partner with the Sydney Stock Exchange to ring the bell for equality this International Women’s Day

Kylie Porter | February 24, 2022

In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) (8 March 2022), the UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA) has partnered with the Sydney Stock Exchange’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative to host the bell-ringing ceremony to raise awareness for gender equality.

The collaboration between UNGCNA, The Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX), Braintree and UN Women Australia works to continue advocating for women’s rights and equality, specifically in the private sector. In 2022, IWD aims to achieve a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, acknowledging that whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead.

The ‘bell ringing’ at the Sydney Stock Exchange is the first of 91 exchanges globally to bring attention to the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to raise awareness about the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of seven principles that offer guidance to business on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Kylie Porter – Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Australia said:We are encouraged by the ongoing advocacy of the Sydney Stock Exchange in their efforts to tackle gender inequality.  Our partnership with the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting the private sector in their efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030, particularly Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls.”

“UNGCNA will continue to connect, enable and lead businesses and stakeholders to find opportunities to deliver a positive impact. Recognising the SSE as an opportunity to explore how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies, can enhance corporate transparency is an important step in breaking down biases and forging a path for gender equality.”

The SSX is committed to gender equality and has created a category for listed companies who meet ESG qualification metrics. This includes companies publicly reporting on relevant gender metrics such as board/management composition, parental leave, return rates, pay parity, to name a few.

Michael Go – CEO, Sydney Stock Exchange said: “As supporters of International Women’s Day we know that gender equality in organisations can promote innovation, improve risk mitigation and reduces groupthink on boards and executive committees. We also know that gender equality and equity correlate with a company’s success. The SME sector is an engine of growth in the Australian and Asia Pacific economies and there are many examples of successful female entrepreneurs and leaders in that space. Ensuring a balanced approach with more female leaders in the SME space will continue to create higher growth and stronger results for generations to come.”

Simone Clarke – CEO, UN Women Australia said: “International Women’s Day is as critical now as ever. No country in the world has achieved gender equality, that is the reality – the pace is slow and sadly many of our recent gains have been eroded. UN Women, the United Nations agency dedicated to achieving gender equality, works with the private sector to leverage our collective strengths and common agendas to accelerate gender equality. Initiatives such as Ringing the Bell for Gender Equality are vital for putting the spotlight on issues that perpetuate gender inequality and encourages the private sector to join us in real action and accountability for a gender equal world.”

Cindy Nicholson – CEO, Braintree said: “Gender inequality can impact every aspect of a woman’s life. We need to teach all generations that this is unacceptable but most importantly, execute changes to behaviours and practises, to demonstrate a commitment to change. Changing the mindset of women and providing support to live their lives freely and equally will reap a positive impact on our planet. Believe that you are worthy; Know that you have a voice; Focus energy on your beliefs and goals. Where your energy is injected, so will it transpire and deliver. Hold the faith, hold the focus”.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, distinguished guests are invited to the Sydney Stock Exchange Board room overlooking Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 1 March, to attend the 2022 Ring the Bell for Gender Equality. Guests will also hear from a panel of guest speakers facilitated by Cindy Nicholson, CEO of Braintree, who will be discussing gender equality issues during our morning session.

From a global perspective, the SSE is working alongside the UN Global Compact, UN Women, International Finance Corporation: IFC and World Federation of Exchanges for the 8th consecutive year to organise the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” initiative.

#IWD2022 #RingTheBell #GenderEquality #BreakTheBias.

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article by

Kylie Porter

Kylie is a sustainability expert with over 18 years of experience in corporate affairs, sustainability and strategy roles across a broad range of industries. During her career, Kylie has helped numerous companies develop and implement responsible business strategies, managed reputation risk for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and wrote and managed policies across various thematic areas including climate change and human rights.