IFC Joins BSE to ‘Ring the Bell’ to Promote Gender Equality in India

Mumbai, India, March 9, 2017—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and BSE, Asia’s oldest exchange, today together rang the opening bell for trading to raise awareness on the need for gender equality in India. Marking International Women’s Day, the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event is part of an IFC-driven initiative across 43 stock exchanges worldwide to highlight the private sector’s role in spurring women’s participation in the economy.

IFC believes that women—as consumers, employees, business leaders, and entrepreneurs—have the potential to transform the global economy, support job creation, raise per-capita incomes, and promote sustainable development.  For this, IFC works with companies in developing countries to generate opportunities for women, contributing to companies’ bottom-lines, productivity, and growth.

“Stock exchanges can lead efforts to increase the number of women on boards and enhance their capacity to participate effectively in promoting sound corporate governance,” said Ashish Chouhan, CEO of BSE.

IFC works with private-sector companies to increase the number of women representatives on boards of companies across emerging markets. 

“Promoting gender diversity in companies can be an effective way to ensure value-addition in boards,” said Vladislava Ryabota, Corporate-Governance Lead, IFC South Asia. “The induction of women can have a positive impact on a company’s reputation, generate increased investor confidence, and promote sound corporate governance.” 

IFC leverages its relationship with about 1,000 financial institutions and private equity funds to help expand access to finance for women entrepreneurs. Almost 30 percent of IFC nominee-directors, in companies in which IFC has invested, are women. IFC’s South Asia Regional Corporate-Governance Project, implemented with donor support from Japan’s Ministry of Finance, provides training to encourage more women’s participation on boards.

Now in its third year, the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” series is a partnership between IFC, Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the UN Global Compact, UN Women, Women in ETFs, and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges.

India is IFC’s top country exposure, globally. IFC’s committed portfolio in India is over $5 billion as of June 30, 2016. In FY16, IFC committed $1.1 billion in new investments in the country. In addition to strengthening local capital markets in India, IFC is focused on boosting financing in infrastructure and logistics, promoting financial inclusion, helping create conditions to attract increased private capital, and helping structure public-private partnerships.

About IFC

As a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About BSE
BSE (Formerly Bombay Stock Exchange), established in 1875, is Asia’s first & now the world’s fastest Stock Exchange. BSE provides an efficient and transparent market for trading in equity, debt instruments, equity derivatives, currency derivatives, interest rate derivatives, mutual funds and stock lending and borrowing. BSE also has a dedicated platform for trading in equities of small and medium enterprises.
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