Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) recently hosted a special ceremony in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2024, as part of the prestigious global ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ campaign. Women in Finance Asia (WIFA), a supporting organization of the event, has been actively involved since 2018 and had the privilege of taking the stage for the second consecutive year to witness the symbolic striking of the gong.

The ceremony provided a remarkable and thought-provoking experience, prompting deep reflection on the significant progress achieved in advancing gender equality and empowering women in the finance sector. A particularly inspiring and noteworthy moment occurred when Bonnie Y Chan assumed the role of HKEX’s first female CEO. Her appointment not only symbolizes the breaking down of barriers and the creation of enhanced opportunities for women in leadership positions but also highlights her exceptional qualifications, expertise, and dedication, making her the best suited person for the position. Bonnie Y Chan’s pivotal role exemplifies the tremendous strides made in promoting gender equality, underscoring that meritocracy and inclusivity go hand in hand. Her appointment serves as a powerful message to the industry and beyond, reaffirming the importance of diverse leadership and the value of empowering women in driving meaningful change.

Throughout the event, panel discussions played a crucial role in emphasizing the vital importance of fostering diversity and inclusion within the finance industry. Esteemed trailblazers such as Bonnie Y Chan, Kim-See L., and Silja Baller shared their invaluable insights and lessons, shedding light on the remarkable accomplishments that can be realized when organizations prioritize gender equality at all levels of their operations.

One notable panel, led by Katherine Ng, Mille Cheng, Michele Leung, and Andrew Weir, highlighted the pivotal role that capital markets play in driving progress towards gender equality. The discussion emphasized the necessity for collaboration and active engagement from all sectors of the industry to bring about meaningful change. By investing in women and promoting diversity, a future can be collectively forged where gender equality is not just an ideal but a tangible reality.

WIFA expresses deep gratitude to HKEX for organizing this momentous event. The Ring the Bell ceremony not only recognizes past achievements but also serves as an inspiration to cultivate the next generation of women leaders. By showcasing the remarkable accomplishments of women in the finance sector and fostering a culture of inclusivity, the industry nurtures talent and contributes to the creation of a more equitable environment.

A warm invitation is extended to everyone to join in celebrating this significant milestone and to commit themselves to the journey that lies ahead. Together, progress can be accelerated, investments can be made in women, and a culture of inclusion can be inspired. Through collective efforts, the power exists to shape a financial industry that wholeheartedly embraces diversity, empowers women, and paves the way for a brighter and more equitable future.

#HKEXDiversity #InvestInWomen #AccelerateProgress #InspireInclusion

Bonnie So