Stock-exchange bells were rung in Zurich and Madrid on Monday, March 8, 2021, in celebration of International Women’s Day and the global “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” initiative. Establishing gender equality in the workplace remains a major challenge in Switzerland and Spain. The initiative aims to steer attention to the central role that the private sector can play in fostering gender equality and to promote targets for sustainable gender equality development.
We opened the market on the Madrid Stock Exchange with a loud ringing of the bell at 9:00 a.m. on the dot and closed the market in Zurich equally as enthusiastically at exactly 5:00 p.m. Both bell-ringing ceremonies were rounded out by an interesting panel discussion featuring a number of high-profile guests.
Two of those guests have particularly stood out this year: Marion Leslie, Head Financial Information and member of the SIX Executive Board, and Beatriz Alonso, Head BME Exchange, were honored this year by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) for their outstanding achievements and leadership. The WFE’s “Women Leaders” initiative seeks to shine a spotlight on some of the most talented women in the securities-exchange industry and to introduce future leaders.
During her opening address at the bell-ringing ceremony in Zurich, which centered on the role of gender data, quotas, and targets, Marion Leslie said: “ Even a decade ago, just finding the data to actually make these points would have been impossible – or at least very manual and very painstaking. So these initiatives are very welcome. I think data is at the heart of the progress. If you are trying to solve almost any problem, reliable data is the fastest way to get to a good outcome. I truly believe this applies to equality, diversity and inclusion as well.”