Gender inclusion in the workplace benefit the country and our economy
Johannesburg, 08 March 2019: This International Women's Day the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is raising awareness on gender inclusion and economic participation.
In keeping with the fifth Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030, the JSE collaborated with Women in Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF's), the Motsepe Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), United Nations Women (UN Women), and United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact). The collaboration manifested in the annual Ring the Bell for Gender Equality ceremony on Friday at the JSE.
"The challenge remains across the globe to ensure that women participate in economic stock markets, not only as builders of businesses and raising of communities, they need to actively hold a stake in industries that supply them directly with goods and services. We need to create the space for women to participate in leadership and executive positions; proven over and over, diversity and inclusion leads to more sustainable and vibrant business in the long term," says Zanele Morrison, Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.
"According to the International Monetary Fund's 2018 research entitled 'Pursuing Women's Economy', the economic empowerment of women grows economies and boosts productivity. As a result it increases economic diversification and income equality," Morrison says.
Another study by McKinsey & Company entitled 'Women Matter: Time to accelerate. Ten years of insights into gender diversity 2018' also found benefit in gender inclusion in the workplace through organisational outcomes and performance. The study reads: "Companies greatly benefit from increasing employment and leadership opportunities for women, which is shown to increase organizational effectiveness and growth. It is estimated that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organizational performance."
Morrison says the JSE takes gender inclusion seriously. There are 421 employees at the JSE, 229 of which are women. Five out of nine executives are women and eight out of 12 board members are female.
"Our Chairman, CEO and CFO are women," says Morrison, "and it is the most vibrant and fulfilling workplace to be in".
Further to this in 2018 the JSE launched the #SheInvests initiative. This initiative aims to drive equality and economic development in our country through financial literacy and investment education. "We are very proud to note the alignment of this event with our initiative. The role of women in the economy can no longer be overlooked, and the more education and information at their disposal the better for any country," says Morrison.
More than 70 stock exchanges around the world raised awareness around women empowerment and gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and communities this International Women's Day. Ring the Bell for Gender Equality, the JSE event, added to the clarion call.
This event was a networking opportunity with representatives from organisations who have implemented successful strategies on women's empowerment, gender transformation, and continue to play pivotal roles in the advancement of gender equality.
Lynette Ntuli, Founding Director of Innate Investment Solutions was the keynote speaker at the event. She has achieved entrepreneurial success and is an advocate for women in business. Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-founder, Deputy-chairperson and CEO of the Motsepe Foundation also gave a special message. Moloi-Motsepe, who is also the Founder and Executive Chairperson of African Fashion International is an inspirational beacon of social development and gender equality.
"Seeing successful women around us ignites a flame in aspirational women to know that they too can get there. Furthermore, women who have gotten a seat at the table have to pay it forward, mentor, guide and shape upcoming ambitious women for success. Our speakers at this event have paved the way and also gave us a few pearls of advice on what's ahead," concludes Morrison
ABOUT THE JSE
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is based in South Africa where it has operated as a market place for the trading of financial products for 130 years. It connects buyers and sellers in equity, derivative and debt markets. The JSE is one of the top 20 exchanges in the world in terms of market capitalisation and is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) and holds the chairmanship of the Association of Futures Markets (AFM). The JSE offers a fully electronic, efficient, secure market with world class regulation, trading and clearing systems, settlement assurance and risk management. www.jse.co.za
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