Invest in women: Accelerate progress - Macedonian Stock Exchange participant in the global initiative Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2024
Friday, March 8, 2024

Macedonian Stock Exchange this year once again participates in the "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" Initiative. The theme for 2024 is "Invest in Women: Accelerate the Progress", which on International Women's Day raises awareness of implementing gender-responsive financing by improving women's access to financial markets and promoting greater participation of women in the management bodies of companies. The initiative, which this year is supported by over 110 stock exchanges, aims to raise awareness of gender equality in the private sector, issues related to the economy, finance and sustainable development.

On this occasion, today, the bell of the Macedonian Stock Exchange was jointly rung by representatives of the top management of three listed successful companies,  Branka Slaveska, General Director of Vinarska Vizba Tikvesh, Marija Dukovska-Pavlovska, General Director of Makstill and Marija Josifovska- Spasovska, member of the Management Board of Makpetrol, and Ivan Shteriev, Chief Executive Officer of the Macedonian Stock Exchange.

On this occasion, MSE’S CEO, Ivan Shteriev, stated: 
" Raising the issue of gender equality in the corporate sector to a higher social level is a long-term  commitment of the Macedonian Stock Exchange. The need for greater inclusion of women in the management  of companies should be accepted as a necessary axiom for progress in business operations. Gender equality in the sphere of entrepreneurship and management creates an additional creative surge in the overall economic flows. Gender equality  as a target is globally recognized in modern societies and normative solutions in company laws and corporate governance codes, including that of our stock exchange, are designed in that direction. The fact that the data from the gender analysis of the structure of the management bodies of the companies listed on the Macedonian Stock Exchange, which we publish every March 8 from 2021 onwards, shows a slight improvement trend, is very promising with the simultaneous conclusion that there is still a  room for positive balancing  and even stronger  "ringing the bell for gender equality" .

Branka Slaveska, General Director of Vinarska Vizba Tikvesh said, 
" Gender equality is crucial because it allows the productive potential of the entire workforce to be properly used and is a prerequisite for sustainable development and greater contribution to society. In order to improve it, it is important to cultivate an inclusive environment. This includes above all the promotion of equal opportunities for all during the process of education , employment and access to leadership positions. Encouraging open dialogue as well as the active fight against discrimination and stereotypes are key and can surely contribute to improving the quality of life of each individual. "

Marija Josifovska-Spasovska, member of the Management Board and director at Makpetrol, emphasized that 
"Investing in employees is key for the development of companies, and thus of the whole society. Investing in women must be our priority, because full equality has not yet been achieved. This can only be achieved by creating opportunities that give women real chances to realize their potential. Confirmation for this is the fact that the United Nations is celebrating March 8 this year with a theme that highlights the importance of investing in women. What's even better is that the reason for this is quite clear – investing in women brings progress! Historically, years ago in the management of Makpetrol, women were represented and contributed equally to the overall operation of the company. The employees of our company are the most responsible for the daily progress, and women are an essential part of this process. In its business plans, Makpetrol always allocates funds that are invested in professional training, further education opportunities and open options for career promotion  of women who are part of the company. As a result, more and more women are represented in the management structures of our company, which I am particularly proud of.''

Marija Dukovska-Pavlovska, General Director of Makstil said, 
"There are no limits to the competences and skills of women, except the ones we set for ourselves. It turned out that the process of gender equality and rejection of stereotypes is starting in the heavy industry segment as well. Professionalism, knowledge and skills that a person possesses are important for job selection. In Makstil there are a large number of women who are placed in key positions, and with that we not only break down the prejudice  about the division of professions according to gender, but show that it depends on ourselves what barriers we set for ourselves and that nothing is unachivable . However, the constructive and progressive force come from education and experience, not from gender, and that should be our priority in the selection. "

This is the tenth campaign of the global Initiative "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality", which is a partnership between the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Federation of Stock Exchanges (WFE), the Initiative for Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE), in which the Macedonian Stock Exchange is a participant, the Global Compact of the UN, UN Women and Women in ETFs, to promote gender equality in capital markets.

In order to strengthen social awareness for achieving greater gender equality, the Stock Exchange this year publishes an updated analysis of the structure of the management bodies of listed joint-stock companies, which is available at the following link: