JSE rings bell for gender equality in Africa - CNBC Africa

JSE rings bell for gender equality in Africa

Southern Africa

by Aviwe Mtila 0

The JSE celebrated International Women's Day by ringing the bell for gender equality in the work place and society at large. Photo: Pixabay.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) joined 34 other bourses around the world in celebrating International Women’s Day while plighting the need for gender equality in the work place and society at large.

Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE, Zeona Jacobs, joined CNBC Africa’s Nozipho Mbanjwa to ring the bell for the need for transformation in the financial industry.

READ THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CONVERSATION BELOW OR WATCH THE VIDEO:

“The celebration is let us hear that there’s something that needs to be done in the sector. As an exchange we’ve done extremely well, both at a board level and at an executive management level. Seven out of ten people in the executive are women and three are men. 61 per cent of our staff are women so as the JSE we’ve done well.”

-          Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

“If you look at the boards and executive positions of other financial services companies in South Africa, on the continent, as well as in the rest of the world you don’t see the same reflection of what’s happening at the JSE.”

-          Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

[video]

“Ringing the bell is not actually about celebrating. The market opens with ringing the bell so the bell really symbolises increased awareness.”

-          Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

“In South Africa we are often, as the JSE, called on to ask ‘what did you get right, what happened hear that you have this great gender balance here at the JSE?’ I really think it’s political will. Women come through the ranks. There are significant numbers of women working in financial institutions but it’s that glass ceiling that I believe is still an issue for women in not just South Africa but around the world.”

-          Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

“In Europe at the moment they’re looking at 30 per cent [female] board representation which has not been implemented yet, but it’s discussed. So this is not just a South Africa, Africa issue, it is really a global issue. I just think in Europe it is a matter of ‘who cares for the family at home?’ There could be those fundamental issues that are holding us back. “

-          Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

“There’s an Employment Equity Act that’s strengthening employment equity regulations that’s just come into force. There’s the JSE listing requirements. So what we did last year August we announced the policy on gender equality on the boards of our listed companies. So they have to, form this year onwards, they have to report on their policy and what progress they’re making towards gender equality on boards.”

-          Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

“We are not saying that if you do not comply on your own policy there will be a sanction from the JSE, that’s not what we are saying. But we are, just through that regulation, supporting the country’s employment equity and transformation agenda.”

-          Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

“I work with quite a bit on the continent and work with African exchanges and to be honest I know of only one other CEO who’s a women and it’s the Mozambique CEO of their stock exchange. So for me, in the future, as I ring this bell, I’d like to see 50/50 gender equality on boards and executive management.”

Zeona Jacobs, Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the JSE.

Comments