Karachi: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) along with its partners, Women On Board (WOB) Initiative, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG), and Pakistan Business Council (PBC) held a gong ceremony to mark International Women’s Day at the Stock Exchange.

PSX celebrates this day this year, along with over 100 exchanges worldwide, to reiterate its commitment to the cause of gender equality and the inclusivity of women. The ceremony included gong striking to start the trading day by the prominent women invited to the event, memento distribution, and an interactive session with the media.

Speaking at the occasion, the MD and CEO of PSX, Mr Farrukh H Khan, said: “I am very pleased that Pakistan Stock Exchange is not only celebrating this event every year for the last four years, but is also making tangible efforts to materialise the objective of gender equality in the capital market and corporate sector of Pakistan”.

He further stated: “Pakistan Stock Exchange not only promotes inclusion of women in its workforce with 14% employees and 25% of the senior management comprising of women and over 40% of the direct reports to the CEO being women, but it also promotes the inclusion of women amongst the listed companies whereby PSX has included the criteria of Gender Equality as one of the seven minimum SDGs required for listed companies to report on, in order to qualify for the Top 25 Companies Award. Moreover, weightage is given for having a woman director on board and for having women employed in senior positions in the listed companies for their candidacy for the PSX Top 25 Companies Award”.

Aftab Ahmad Chaudhry, the team-lead and founder of WOB Initiative,while talking about the significance of marking this special day, said: “WOB appreciates the constant support of PSX for extending the availability of its floor since 2017, to mark the market opening by the inspirational women leaders each year on the eve of International Women’s Day. This event has enabled the recognition of the participation of women in the economic development of the country and the importance of woman leadership in the corporate sector”.

The CEO of PICG Mr Ahsan Jamil, added: “Our society is, as a whole, undergoing a transition into a more socially conscious paradigm, of which gender equality is a critical component. It is crucial to facilitate an enabling environment to pave the way for progressive change, as female inclusion holds the promise of disproportionate returns — be it in business, civil society, or the public sector.”

“The Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance remains a strong ally of women, and a fierce advocate for female inclusivity in every realm, and at every level of society. Just recently, we have sanctioned that one-third of our board must constitute women. It is with this same spirit of inclusivity, that we are pleased to be here, championing the causes of gender equality and female empowerment,” he added.

The CEO of PBC, Mr Ehsan Malik, speaking on the occasion, said: “Promoting employment, value-added exports and import substitution on a competitive basis are the objectives of the Pakistan Business Council’s Make in Pakistan trust.
Our other primary theme is to accelerate the formalisation of the economy. The creation of jobs in the formal economy and the growth of exports in the near term through textiles, all augur well for promoting gender balance.”

“There are more women employed in textiles than most manufacturing sectors. Formalisation of the economy enables women to enjoy employment terms at par with men. PBC’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business aims to lift the capacity and capability of business in correcting the gender balance as well as in promoting SDGs,” he added.

The writer is a member of staff
The reporting desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk

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