Press Release

The Spanish Stock Exchange opens the trading session on Women's Day Ringing the Bell for Gender Equality

8 March, 2021

  • BME and the Global Compact Spanish Network promote this event, which is part of a global initiative in which more than 100 stock exchanges around the world take part
  • More than 300 people have followed the event remotely

For the fourth consecutive year, BME and the United Nations’ Global Compact Spanish Network have promoted a Ring the Bell for Gender Equality event. Today's trading session began with this symbolic act, which is part of the international initiative Ring the Bell for Gender Equality, promoted by Sustainable Stock Exchanges and the United Nations’ Global Compact. More than 300 people followed the event via streaming, which took place remotely due to health restrictions.  

Belén Romana, independent director of SIX and BME, performed the bell ringing. In her speech, she stressed that, thanks to increasingly demanding regulations, companies and their boards of directors are represented more equitably. "Technology confronts us with new challenges in gender equality, because machines are often thought to be objective, but algorithms are sometimes biased against women", she pointed out. Romana also stressed the importance of promoting female talent from childhood to foster genuine equal opportunities that will benefit society as a whole.

Cristina Sánchez, executive director of the Global Compact Spanish Network, stressed that real equality between men and women is part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. She pointed out: “Gender equality is critical to boosting the global economy and companies have a crucial role to play in this goal. Equality is good business”.

After the symbolic ceremony and the respective speeches, a round table was held entitled "The differentiating role of women in financial markets", moderated by Beatriz Alonso-Majagranzas, Head of BME Exchanges. She pointed out that to talk about equality is also to talk about talent, "and no one company can afford to waste 50% of the talent of its workforce, nor can its shareholders”. Participants included Alicia Coronil, chief economist at Singular Bank; Berta Rodríguez, head of the Execution and Fixed Income desk at Capital Markets; and Carlota Pi, co-founder and executive chairwoman of Holaluz.

The speakers highlighted the central role that the private sector must play in promoting gender equality. Among other aspects, they talked about the impact of Covid-19 on equality, the need for diverse teams in companies, education and the importance of references.

This year, more than 100 stock exchanges around the world have joined the international Ring the Bell for Gender Equality initiative, including the Swiss stock exchange, part of the SIX Group, owner of BME.

BME has been a member of the United Nations’ Global Compact since 2011 and of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, which seeks to raise awareness of good corporate governance, since 2015.

Photos of the Bell Ringing are available here:

More information on the initiative:

Speech by Belén Romana:

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