From left to right, Idoia Basterretxea (BME) and Arantxa Tapia (Basque Government)
The Spanish Stock Exchange opened the session today with a Ring the Bell for Gender Equality. The event, held at the Bilbao Stock Exchange, is part of the Ring the Bell for Gender Equality initiative promoted by the World Federation of Exchanges together with the Global Compact, UN Woman, Sustainable Stock Exchanges and IFC. This is the sixth consecutive year that BME has joined the initiative, which this year is being celebrated by more than a hundred stock exchanges around the world, including the Zurich Stock Exchange, managed by SIX Group, owner of BME.
The event, which was attended by more than 100 people in person and which was also broadcasted via streaming, was attended by Manuel Ardanza, President of the Bilbao Stock Exchange, and Idoia Basterretxea, board member of the Bilbao Stock Exchange, who welcomed the attendees. In her speech, she highlighted BME's commitment to gender equality and the importance of listed companies promoting this goal, which is the fifth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, and she also pointed out that equality is profitable because companies with inclusive policies obtain better results.
Arantxa Tapia, Councilor for Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government, was the protagonist of the Ringing of the Bell. In her speech she stated that the gender gap has a direct impact on the productivity of companies, so equality brings business competitiveness. Cristina Sánchez, executive director of the United Nations Global Compact Spain has intervened in the event through a video and stressed that "despite the fact that 9 out of 10 companies in our country claim to have measures in favor of gender equality, at the current rate we would need more than 150 years to close the gap in participation and existing economic opportunities". Eva Wildlak, president of the UN Women National Committee in Spain, stressed that for digitalization to create millions of decent jobs for women worldwide "it is necessary to address the skills gap and gender stereotypes".
The Ring The Bell was followed by a panel discussion entitled "Female talent and its contribution to finance and business, moderated by Clotilde Salmerón, CEO of MEFF, the Spanish derivatives market managed by BME. The debate was attended by Inés Núñez de la Parte, Secretary of the Board of Tubos Reunidos; Raquel Arechabala, Investment and Business Director of Norbolsa, and Alicia Vivanco, General Manager of Kutxabank. All of them commented on the progress made in recent years and how important it is to maintain policies that favor the full incorporation of women into the workplace at all levels so that equal opportunities become a reality.
BME has been part of the United Nations Global Compact since 2011 and of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, which seeks to promote sustainable investment through the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN for the 2030 Agenda.
You can consult the photos of the Toque de Campana in this link.