The Stock Exchange of Thailand to ‘ring the bell’ for International Women’s Day
Thailand’s stock exchange opened with a ceremonial bell-ringing event on March 8 in celebration of International Women’s Day. The stock exchange was one of 110 exchanges around the world to participate in the campaign to raise awareness about the pivotal role of the private sector in fostering Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the UN’s Agenda 2030, which promotes gender equality, human rights for all women and girls, and women’s economic empowerment.
“Initiatives like Ring the Bell encourage more companies in the private sector to make gender equality part of their standard business models,” said Sarah Knibbs, officer-in-charge, UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. “It has been proven that women’s economic empowerment boosts national productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality. When more women work, economies grow.”
The bell to mark the opening of Bangkok’s trading session was rung by Pakorn Peetathawatchai, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), together with Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, secretary-general of the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), along with Knibbs.
Ring the Bell for Gender Equality is a partnership between UN Women, the UN Global Compact, the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, the International Finance Corporation, Women in ETFs and the World Federation of Exchanges. In Thailand, the 2022 Ring the Bell for Gender Equality campaign is co-organized by the SET, the SEC and UN Women.
Thailand has taken stock of progress in achieving gender equality and is committed to improving it and these events are a step forward in the gender equality movement. The SET is a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, which it has followed in advancing sustainable development in capital markets including gender equality. The SET has also promoted diversity in board and management and ensured accessibility of capital markets to entrepreneurs of all genders and generations.
“It is a great honor for SET to co-arrange “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”. This event emphasizes SET's commitment to developing capital market for all sectors under the vision "To Make the Capital Market 'Work' for Everyone." We continue to promote sustainable growth and raise awareness of sustainability issues to our listed companies, while encouraging investors to evaluate how well our listed companies are at implementing ESG and sustainability practices, as well as addressing gender equality issues,” remarked Mr. Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President of the SET.
The SEC has been working with stakeholders to institutionalize gender equality and diversity as an example of respecting human rights and sound socially responsible business practice announced in the SEC’s Strategic Plan for 2021-2023. While many businesses have implemented gender equality and inclusion to their agenda, there is still room to create added opportunities for women in the workplace, marketplace, and community.
Ms. Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, SEC Secretary-General mentioned “Gender equality is a key priority not only in our organizational policies but also as a part of our external actions. Several measures have been introduced to enable listed companies’ ESG integrated practice including gender equality, which is a universally recognized human right.”
Gender diversity brings about diverse perspectives, which enhances the board’s governing role and enables companies to better recognize stakeholders’ expectations. Currently, listed companies with at least 30 percent of female representation on the board are about 27 percent – not a far step from the 30 percent target. “This is a crucial goal because gender diversity will cultivate the corporate culture of gender equality, and further opportunity to grow corporate values”, added SEC Secretary-General.
WeEmpowerAsia is a UN Women programme funded by and in partnership with the European Union that aims to increase the number of women who lead and participate in business in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. Launched in 2019, its purpose is to advance inclusive and sustainable growth and build more gender-sensitive trade and supply chains between European and Asian markets through the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).
About UN Women
UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, the organization was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on women’s rights worldwide. UN Women’s efforts are based on the fundamental belief that every woman has the right to live a life free from violence, poverty, and discrimination, and that gender equality is a prerequisite to achieving global development.
About the European Union
The European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development while maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms.
About the Stock Exchange of Thailand
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is among the most liquid exchanges in Asia, providing a full range of investment products including equities, derivatives, as well as world-class trading, post-trade infrastructure/technology services. Going forward, SET's vision "To Make the Capital Market 'Work' for Everyone" is aligned with the aim to support strong economic growth and competitiveness. Globally and regionally, SET has also actively coordinated with other exchanges to boost investment opportunities and capital market growth potential. Moreover,
SET puts strong emphasis on sustainable growth by promoting listed companies' business models that care for environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.
About the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand
The Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand (SEC), a public agency established under the Securities and Exchange Act B.E. 2535 (1992) with the mandate to supervise and develop the Thai capital market. With the Mission, “To assure conducive environment for a fair, efficient, dynamic and inclusive capital market”, the SEC collaborates with several agencies, at the local and international levels, to ensure an enabling ecosystem for a sustainable capital market. This includes supporting listed companies’ ESG integration into business operations, with the social aspect including human rights and gender equality.