The Global Compact Spanish Network and Spanish Stock Exchanges and Markets (BME) have started 8th March, International Women Day, the activity of Madrid’s parquet with the Ring the Bell for Gender Equality, a global event which is a partnership between IFC, Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs, to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development.

Spain has joined this international action first time, but this is the fourth consecutive year. The ringing is being held in 65 markets around the world.

Isabel Garro, general manager at GC Spanish Network, wanted to highlight the celebration of activities such as this, «as they help to highlight the transversal nature of the Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of SDG 5, which aims to empower women».

As part of the events, participants are encouraged to make commitments to improve gender equality in their markets, such as signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, improving diversity in senior management and on the boards of directors, developing more gender-friendly policies, developing a gender-themed investment product, or improving transparency on gender policies and practices.

For instance, in Spain, only 30.3 per cent of all managers are women, and the percentage of women in parliament is 39.1%. In the field of research, women hold only 39.6 per cent of the posts. On the other hand, in the international context, the gender pay gap remains at 23% and, if no firm action is taken, it will be another 68 years before equality is achieved in this area. In addition, the employment rate of women in the world is 63 per cent, while that of men is 94 per cent.