Some 81 exchanges will be involved this year in ringing the opening or closing bells to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March.

Partnering with Women in ETFs, the exchanges are ringing the bells to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment.

Businesses employing a holistic approach towards equal representation have outperformed their less diverse rivals by 2.8% per annum over the past eight years, highlighting the importance of diversity, according to Morgan Stanley.

Aided by initiatives such as Women in ETFs, the ETF industry has been at the forefront of driving change within the financial services industry.

Following its foundation in January 2014, Women in ETFs has seen its membership climb to over 5,600 highlighting the impact it has had in providing women with a platform to showcase their expertise.

Commenting on International Women’s Day, the leadership of Women in ETFs said: “The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day - I am Generation Equality - celebrates the progress that has been made all around the world in advancing gender equality.

“The annual Bell Ringing events are the most global initiative that Women in ETFs does each year offering a unique opportunity to welcome Women in ETFs leadership teams, members and corporate sponsors to hear speakers presenting the business case for diversity and women’s economic empowerment.

“There is further to go before we achieve gender equality, but today marks the start of a month of important awareness and work to continue to build towards that important goal.”

As part of the drive towards change, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) celebrated its third anniversary since the launch of the Fearless Girl campaign and has become a symbol of gender diversity.

Launched on the eve of International Women’s Day in 2017, the Fearless Girl was placed in front of the Charging Bull in New York.

Cyrus Taraporevala, President and CEO of SSGA, commented: “This moment represents so much more than an anniversary – Fearless Girl is about a smarter way to do business.

“Due in large part to the broader industry conversation sparked by her installation, there’s been a sea change in gender diversity on corporate boards – but this still is just the beginning of this growth story.

“As stewards of investor assets, we will continue to use our voice and our vote to advocate for greater gender diversity on boards.”