Thai stock exchanges commit to help women rise up in businesses

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday March 8, 2018 16:53
Bangkok--8 Mar--SET
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) today signaled its commitment to further promote business practices that give women greater equality and leadership in listed companies.

SET President, Kesara Manchusree led business leaders in ringing the bell at the opening of the afternoon market trading session as part of the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2018" campaign held by exchanges worldwide. It was the first time the SET had participated in the annual campaign, timed with International Women's Day.

The ceremony at SET headquarters was a collaboration of the SET, the Embassy of Sweden and UN Women Asia and the Pacific. It helped businesses understand their pivotal role in ensuring gender equality in society and allowed them to showcase their best practices.

Kesara said SET has encouraged listed companies to appoint more women to their boards of directors and top managements, moves that would help grow and sustain their businesses.

Of Thailand's total of 643 listed companies, 12 per cent of these companies have women as the chief executive officer. Four out of five listed companies have at least a woman as independent director in their boards of directors.

Two Thai listed companies, SET-listed Thai Airways International PCL and Central Group, are among the more than 1,000 companies worldwide that have signed the "CEO's statement of support" for UN Women's "Women's Empowerment Principles". The principles offer benchmarks on corporate leadership, fair treatment of women and men at work, ensuring the health and well-being of female employees, promoting their education and training, and other areas.

"The private sector is uniquely positioned to be part of iconic global movements towards gender equality in workplace settings," said Miwa Kato, Regional Director for UN Women Asia and the Pacific. "This will empower women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and all levels of activities and will benefit the global community as a whole."

Staffan Herrstroem, the Swedish Ambassador to Thailand, said Sweden's policy for businesses to give paid paternal leave has eased the way for women to participate equally in the labour force.

"There is a perception, a stereotype, that parenthood is something that happens in women's lives only, and that parenthood has practical consequences only for women's lives," said Herrstroem. "Paid parental leave for both fathers as well as mothers is an effective way to address that stereotype."

After the bell-ringing ceremony, United Nations experts, analysts and senior executives from IKEA Southeast Asia and Grab (Thailand) Ltd. held a panel discussion on "Future of Work".

"Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2018" is a joint global initiative among UN Global Compact, UN Women, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, International Finance Corporation: IFC, World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs. This year, 59 stock exchanges around the world were expected to take part.

About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, the organization was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on women's rights worldwide. UN Women's efforts are based on the fundamental belief that every woman has the right to live a life free from violence, poverty, and discrimination, and that gender equality is a prerequisite to achieving global development.

http://asiapacific.unwomen.org |Twitter| Facebook @unwomenasia
About the SET

The Stock Exchange of Thailand was incorporated under the Securities Exchange of Thailand Act, B.E. 2517 (1974). Operations started on April 30, 1975. As a nonprofit hub for securities trading and related services, SET serves to promote savings and long-term capital funding for the economic development of the nation. Currently, SET operates under the legal framework laid down in the Securities and Exchange Act, B.E. 2535 (1992). SET core operations include listing securities, supervision of information disclosures by listed companies, oversight of securities trading, and monitoring member companies involved in trading securities, as well as dissemination of information and education to investors.

www.set.or.th
About the Women's Empowerment Principles

The Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles outline seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The Principles highlight that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to build strong economies; establish more stable and just societies; achieve internationally agreed goals for development, sustainability, and human rights; improve quality of life for women, men, families and communities; and propel business' operations and goals. Learn more at https://www.empowerwomen.org/en/weps/about

About Ring the Bell for Gender Equality

"Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" initiative is aimed 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. The UN theme for International Women's Day this year is, "Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women's lives," focusing on empowering women in all settings, rural and urban, and to celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women's rights and realize their full potential.

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.


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