The Macedonian Stock Exchange for the second time joined the initiative "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2022"
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Macedonian Stock Exchange, second year in a row, along with 118 other stock exchanges around the world, participated in the global Initiative of the World Stock Exchange Federation "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality". The theme of the 2022 Initiative is "Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow".

As part of this event, the Ambassador of the United States of America to North Macedonia, Kate Marie Byrnes, Nora Aliti, President of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Ivan Steriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Macedonian Stock Exchange rang the trading bell of the Macedonian Stock Exchange.

"In the past year we have decided to move from words to deeds - in the new Corporate Governance Code of listed companies we have incorporated a specific target for women's participation in governing bodies and a clause specifying that in their annual reports they will have to publish a summary of the activities undertaken to meet this goal. Although the codes are soft regulation and are based on the principle "Comply or explain" we believe that this solution is a significant step forward in terms of greater representation of women in governing bodies in the largest and most successful Macedonian listed companies. Comparative analysis with other codes in the region and beyond shows that our solution is quite progressive - not all codes go with the quantification of such a target, ie in many codes there is only a provision that imply a recommendation or a good practice that the target should be set depending on company’s size or other specifics." said Ivan Steriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Macedonian Stock Exchange.

On this occasion, the Chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nora Aliti, M.Sc., said: "With the new Corporate Governance Code, which was developed by the Stock Exchange and the SEC, and with the support of the EBRD, we raised awareness of the gender perspective of listed companies at the level of good corporate practice. In that corporate competition according to the standards of the new Code, listed companies will have to take measures to provide at least 30 percent women members of the supervisory and management board by 2025. I am aware that on the one hand the quotas are not popular, I would say at least for women. For a long time I was personally against quotas because I believed they nurtured another stereotype - that women's success is only due to the positive discrimination of quotas, but experience has shown me that where there are no quotas, there are no women, and so I changed my mind. On the other hand, for some, the target of 30 percent is not enough, and I agree, but progress should start somewhere." 

"It is no secret that we are facing difficult times in this world. It’s not an easy times for the global markets, for the stock exchanges, or for everyday citizens who feel the effects of these challenges. Women in North Macedonia are a crucial, essential part of the country’s character and its future. This day is an important opportunity for women in the last century, but it is also an important time to think about why gender equality matters to all of us. When women make progress, the countries make progress. The steps we take towards gender equality make our societies better, fairer and fitter to for all of the challenges that we face. We need women's talent, experience and leadership." said Ambassador Byrnes.

The Ring the Bell for Gender Equality Initiative, launched in 2015, is celebrated in many countries to raise awareness of the key role of the private sector in promoting gender equality as a global goal for sustainable development. This event is initiated by IFC, The World Federation of Exchanges, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, UN Global Compact, UN Women and Women in ETFs.

In order to strengthen social awareness to achieve greater gender equality, the Stock Exchange presents a brief analysis on this issue within domestic listed companies which is available at the following link  Gender analysis 2022

The video of the event is available at the following link