As we look back on the first quarter of 2020, it will be mostly remembered for the coronavirus pandemic and its unprecedented impact on our communities and financial markets globally. However, even in these turbulent times, it’s important to continue acknowledging and feeling grateful for everything we’ve accomplished since the start of the year.
The WiFA Thought Leadership brings ideas to action and supports women by working together with government organisations and key stakeholders to empower them through appropriate policy changes. This year we represented WiFA to petition the government – specifically the Secretary for Labour and Welfare – to establish family-friendly working arrangements in light of the Covid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong.
We also celebrated International Women’s Day by not only featuring 50 amazing Women in Finance Asia through the WiFA Spotlight Series, but also by partnering with WE (Women in Exchange Traded Funds) across a series of events. For instance, for the sixth consecutive year we worked together with 101 exchanges around the world to ring the opening or closing bells on Sunday, 8 March 2020.
All the events – which started on Monday, 2 March and lasted for three weeks – were organized in partnership between the IFCSustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) InitiativeUN Global CompactUN Women, the World Federation of Exchangesand Women in ETFs to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment, and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality and sustainable development. As expected, we had to scale down the number of events or promote them via social media only due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Right at home, HKEX rolled-out a week-long, multi-channelled campaign to bring the spirit of diversity and gender equality across our workplace and communities in celebration of International Women’s Day 2020. The campaign included the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event in collaboration with the global partners, a series of short videos featuring some of their inspiring women colleagues, and a number of social posts across HKEX’s channels.
In addition, the UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’, marking the milestones that have been reached around the world. To name a few, it celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995 to advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. Furthermore, 2020 marks a five-year milestone towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; and the 10th anniversary of UN Women’s establishment.
Leadership in WE notes: “The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day – ‘I am Generation Equality’ – celebrates the progress that has been made all around the world in advancing gender equality. At Women in ETFs, we are proud to say that we have been proactive in promoting gender equality for some time now, as evidenced by our educational and professional development events, mentorship and university outreach programs and the speakers bureau, and our chapters around the world active participation in the annual ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ initiative. There is further to go before we achieve gender equality, but today marks the start of a month of important awareness and work to continue to build towards that important goal.”
As we move into the second quarter, whether it be working from home or in the office, we are here to help and support you. If there is anything you need, please reach out to Rebecca Sin.