For the first time, Bosnia and Herzegovina held an opening ceremony on a stock

exchange dedicated to gender equality

On March 14, BiH hosted in Sarajevo the Ring the Bell for Gender Equality opening ceremony organized by Banja Luka Stock Exchange and Center for Economic, Technological and Environmental Development Sarajevo – CETEOR, with support by International Finance Corporation`s Integrated Environmental, Social and Governance Standards Program, implemented in partnership with the Government of Switzerland – SECO, and UN Women in BiH.

The opening ceremony followed by the training on “INCLUSIVE Leadership FOR COMPANY SUSTAINABILITY” developed by IFC Women on Boards initiatives and designed for business leaders including senior executives, board members, company owners and leaders engaged in the gender topic, committed to identifying and implementing more inclusive and responsible business practices.

Training aims at helping companies build their female talent pipeline, accelerate competitive advantages, strengthen community relationships, and enhance their reputation through improved environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. The overarching mission is to help companies maximize the benefits of gender diversity and inclusion on boards and business leadership teams.

Speaking at the opening of the event, the CEO of Banja Luka Stock Exchange Mr. Milan Bozic noted that BLSE platform is always open for constructive dialogue, and seeks to contribute to attracting the attention of state bodies and the business community to gender equality issues.…”I would also like to note that in our stock market, women run brokerage companies and many other companies. And we attach great importance to the role of women in the development of the financial sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina, today, thanks to the observance of gender equality, women are successful in all sectors of the economy,” he said.

Lada Busevac, IFC`s Senior Country Officer for Bosnia and Herzegovina, noted that gender equality plays a very important role, especially today, as we are recovering from the pandemic, instability and other consequences of the crises.

“Investing in women’s business leadership makes good business sense. Diversity in leadership drives growth of companies and economies and improves the lives of communities. For IFC, ensuring gender equality is one of the priorities, and it corresponds to our goal of attracting sustainable investments in developing countries, creating markets and opportunities,” said Lada Busevac.

Vedad Suljić, Managing Director of CETEOR, emphasized several facts related to the landscape of CETEORs operations. He highlighted a few research projects they conducted related to the role of women in the energy sector, and those findings show that on one woman, there are 5,5 men in the industry. In CETEOR, women account for 2/3 of employees and of a total of 49% of employee-shareholders, 46% of them are women.