Bangladesh has topped the South Asia region in terms of women’s participation in the companies’ governing bodies as some 18 per cent of board directors of listed companies are women.
A joint study carried out by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) revealed the scenario, according to a statement from the bourse.
The findings were presented at an event marking International Women’s Day in Dhaka on Monday. The IFC, DSE, UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact organised the programme.
Women’s participation in company boards was found the same in 2020 and it remained unchanged in the next year, according to the study.
However, new figures showed there was an increase in the percentage of women who are independent directors of listed companies from five percent in 2020 to six percent.
Celebrating International Women’s Day, the IFC partnered with the DSE, UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact for the seventh consecutive year to ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality.’
For raising awareness about the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), stock exchanges around the world have been hosting bell-ringing ceremonies for the last eight years.
Emphasizing women’s role in shaping a more equal future, the annual event highlighted how greater participation of women in the economy can spur sustainable and inclusive growth.
Speaking at the event, DSE Managing Director Tarique Amin Bhuiyan said the DSE was and will always remain committed to closing the gender gap and promoting women’s role in leadership.
“We strongly believe that advancing woman’s role in companies like DSE will not only create a more diverse leadership team but also help private sector companies create stronger values, bring new ideas, boost transparency and promote inclusive growth,” he said.
DSE Chairman Eunusur Rahman said the capital market in Bangladesh is witnessing a surge of female investors who have been increasing their contributions to the national economy.
Meanwhile, in a fresh joint report on, “How Exchanges Can Advance Gender Equality: Updated Guidance and Best Practice,” the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and IFC identified three broad areas where exchanges can play a role in advancing gender equality.
These include the promotion of gender-focused and gender-aware products and services, strengthening of market performance on gender equality and leading by example.
The Women’s Day event included a panel discussion on the business case for gender diversity on boards.
The global partnership with Sustainable Stock Exchange, IFC, UN Women, UN Global Compact, began in 2015 to Ring the Bell for Gender Equality and this year more than 120 stock exchanges have been taking part in events around the world to raise awareness for gender equality.