Stanbic Bank has yesterday joined the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) and over 90 securities exchanges across the world to mark International Women’s day by ringing their market opening or closing bell to draw attention to the critical role that business and markets can and must play in tackling gender inequalities.
The Ring the Bell for Gender Equality initiative is part of a worldwide Generation Equality campaign aimed at encouraging the private sector to recognize that advancing gender equality through business operations and value chains means. Stanbic Bank Uganda is one of the companies listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange.
To mark the event, Patrick Mweheire, Regional Chief Executive Standard Bank signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) at the Uganda Securities Exchange as a pledge to continue to promote gender equality in the workplace.
Mweheire said, “We are very pleased to be a part of this significant initiative that will promote investment in systems that integrate gender equality into the work environment and business strategies. The initiative is very key in achieving the new global Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly Goal 5 on gender equality and the UN Secretary initiative to promote gender equality in the workplace.”
During the ceremony USE Chief Executive Officer, Paul Bwiso, said, the USE is joining other stock exchanges around the world by signing a public commitment to promote sustainable business practices.
“World over, the stock exchanges are uniquely positioned to influence their market in a way few other actors can. The Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) initiative of the United Nations helps stock exchanges build on this position by connecting them with companies, investors and policymakers to support sustainable development in capital markets,” he said.
The ring the bell for gender equality initiative is championed by the Uganda Securities Exchange and other partners such as the International Finance Corporation, Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, United Nations Global, Compact, UN Women, World Federation of Exchanges, and Women in ETFs to create awareness around Gender inequality in a campaign dubbed Generation Equality campaign.
Through the Generation Equality campaign, UN Women brings together the old and new generations of gender equality advocates, visionaries, and change-makers to tackle the unfinished business of empowering women. For the private sector, the WEPs serve as the framework to implement this agenda.
Stanbic Bank last year joined other private sector players that have signed up to the Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme for private enterprises in partnership with Private Sector Foundation Uganda and UNDP. The programme is an innovative tool for businesses that will help reduce gender gaps and thus promote equality at the workplace and women’s economic empowerment.
“Through the programme, our aim is to ensure that we fully understand the gaps and what new initiatives the bank will have to put in place in order to achieve this goal. The certification process will be undertaken with the utmost support of our leadership to ensure we achieve the set goals for the programme over the coming years,” Mweheire said.
The Bank already has gender equality initiatives in place such as Ignite Women’s leadership programme aimed at raising the leadership impact of women in the Bank, enhancing the potential of members to become authentic leaders and developing workable sustainable solutions that will prepare them for future leadership positions.
“Currently, 60% of our senior Executive Committee are female. The bank had a total Headcount of 1664 staff in 2019, of which the majority are female (52%). Female employees also held 42% of the managerial roles in 2019,” he concluded.