On March 7, 50 members of Women in ETFs joined representatives from the UN Global Compact, UN Women and IFC to ring the opening bell for gender equality at IEX in honor of International Women's Day. International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and marks a call to action to accelerate gender parity. IEX kicked off the first of four bell ringings in New York City.
The event began with comments from Debbie Fuhr, Managing Partner at ETFGI LLP and External Organization Liaison for Women in ETFs, who discussed International Women's Day and what brought Women in ETFs to be a part of these bell ringing ceremonies. Following Debbie's comments, Trish Walsh, Chief Legal Officer at Voya, marked the beginning of the trading day by ringing the bell at 9:30 am.
Attendees then took their seats and Joanne Hill, Head of Institutional Investment Strategy at ProShare Advisors and President of Women in ETFs, introduced the three speakers for the morning. Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact, started by discussing how empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all levels of economic activity is essential to building strong economies and propelling business operations and goals. She highlighted the Women's Empowerment Principles and challenged business leaders to demonstrate leadership on gender equality by signing a Statement of Support for them. Erica Byrne, Executive Vice President, Ethisphere. followed Lise and talked about the four levers that companies can use to help gender equality: hiring, firing, promoting and praising. Finally, Jon Ramsay, Chief Market Policy Officer, IEX, spoke about female mentors that he has had throughout his career and the importance of both male and female mentors in business.
The morning was a terrific celebration of women and the opportunity for businesses if they can achieve gender parity.