RIYADH: The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) marked International Women’s Day 2020 on Sunday by hosting the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” ceremony in Riyadh.
The celebration of the annual event marking women’s contributions to the world was attended by the chairwoman of the Al-Nahdha Foundation, Princess Moudi bint Khalid bin Abdul Aziz, Tadawul chairwoman Sara Al-Suhaimi, Tadawul CEO Khalid Al-Hussan, and executives and female leaders from listed companies.
Tadawul joined more than 90 stock exchanges around the world in ringing their market opening bells in partnership with the UN’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, aiming to promote women empowerment in the capital markets sector.
Tadawul’s goal this year is to strengthen the efforts of listed companies in the field of women’s empowerment.
“We are proud to be the first company to sign the Women’s Empowerment Principles, which reflects our commitment to promoting the role of Saudi women in the financial market and listed companies,” said Sara Al-Suhaimi.
“Women leaders in Tadawul play an important role in achieving the objectives of the Saudi capital markets and its strategy and human resources, which have witnessed a significant success for the new generation of young female employees in creating a bright future for the Saudi capital markets,” the Tadawul chairwoman said, adding that female employees account for 24 percent of Tadawul’s total number of staff.
Tadawul conducted a recent survey on the policy of gender equality on the listed companies, she said, showing positive figures in this field.
“For example, more than 70 percent of the companies participating in the survey adopt employment strategies aimed at increasing the number of female employees, and more than 80 percent of these companies apply policies that provide equal benefits and compensation for employees of both genders,” she said.
Princess Moudi said that national and social development is everyone’s responsibility.
“We will not succeed in achieving our goals, taking advantage of the opportunities of the 21st century, if we do not work together. We have to talk, discuss and share to build solutions based on each specialization,” she said, noting that “Al-Nahdha Foundation worked for over 58 years to activate the role of women in building their country to reach a society that is just for all.”
She added: “One of our projects to achieve our vision is the Global Gender Gap Index to measure the extent of gender equality in the labor market and to identify gaps in participation, career development and wages.”
UN resident coordinator in Saudi Arabia Nathalie Fustier said that the world is entering the decade of action, policymakers, practitioners and advocates. “Young men and women must unite to make gender equality top priority for women’s empowerment in public and private institutions,” said Fustier.
Sharing some facts and figures concerning women in the workplace, Fustier pointed out that companies with at least one female director have better stock price performance and return on equity (ROE).
She said that companies with more than one woman on the board return 3.7 percent a year over those that have none.
More than 30 percent of private-sector leaders report increased profits from efforts to empower women in emerging markets, she said. Diverse publicly traded companies are 70 percent more likely to capture new markets and 45 percent more likely to improve market share.
Tadawul announced that seven listed companies believe in women’s empowerment principles and signed the agreements.