ADB, South Pacific Stock Exchange Partner to Empower Professional Women | Asian Development Bank

ADB, South Pacific Stock Exchange Partner to Empower Professional Women

News from Country Offices | 10 July 2017

SUVA, FIJI (10 July 2017) — A training program to help more Fijian women reach leadership and board positions in South Pacific Stock Exchange-listed (SPSE) companies was launched in Suva today.

The Women in Leadership program will provide training for 26 women nominated by 17 Fijian companies on topics such as governance, risk management, effective communication, constructing support systems, and the transition to leadership roles. The program has been developed by the SPSE with support from the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

“It is now widely recognized that a lack of gender diversity in leadership positions and on boards hinders both economic and social development,” said Krishika Narayan, SPSE Acting Chief Executive Officer. “This training program, developed in partnership with ADB, will address the gender gap on boards and in key management positions by improving skills and fostering the leadership potential of professional women.”

Ms. Narayan added that having more women in leadership positions would capture the valuable contributions they can make to productivity, organizational performance, and economic growth.

“Empowering women to fill more roles on boards and in leadership roles will show the contribution that women can make in both the private sector and public life,” said Emma Fan, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office. “We are pleased to be part of SPSE’s efforts to improve gender diversity in the leadership of Fijian companies.”

The first of three two-day training sessions hosted by PSDI consultants opened in Suva today, with the remaining sessions to be held within the next four months.

The program was launched by SPSE Chairperson Nur Bano Ali at a reception following the close of the first day’s training.

PSDI is a technical assistance facility undertaken in partnership with the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, and ADB. It supports ADB's 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to support inclusive, private sector-led economic growth.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in co-financing.