Malta Business Bureau acknowledges the progress on negotiations regarding Gender Balance on Boards of Listed Companies at EU Level

The EU Council today adopted the proposal for a Directive on Gender Balance among Directors on Listed Companies. This important development takes place 10 years after the Directive had
been originally proposed by the European Commission and after several years during which negotiations had stalled.

MBB President, Alison Mizzi commented, “The participation of women in higher education and the labour market has substantially increased in the past years. This is an important achievement
but should not be considered an accomplishment by itself. There should be no glass ceilings imposed on career progression. Women have shown they are capable of being in leadership positions.”

“A voluntary approach is always preferable, but despite political rhetoric favouring gender balance at the highest level of corporate structures, statistics on the percentage of women on Boards of listed companies to date show that this is far from materialising. Perhaps it is time to adopt a stronger approach. This EU Directive will shake company cultures and require recruitment processes to look closer for talent from all genders. It is a call to identify qualified and experienced women and give them the space to lead and succeed,” Ms. Mizzi said.

Ms. Mizzi also stated, “Diversity at all levels of company structures increases competitiveness and ultimately contributes to economic growth. We need to ensure that human resources allocation is optimised by using all talents, including at Board level. But this cannot happen overnight. It is positive that the Directive provides a renewed timeline until December 2027 that will allow listed companies to plan a gradual transition to achieve the requirements without creating major disruptions to their governance structures. Furthermore, the Directive will cease to apply after 2038, by which time gender balance on Boards is expected to become the norm and there will no longer be a need for a legal requirement.”

The EU Directive proposes that a minimum of 40% non-executive members or 33% of all Director positions, including both executive and non-executive Directors are occupied by persons of the under-represented sex on company boards in listed European companies. Listed companies will be required to either comply or otherwise explain the procedural rules on selection. The Directive also proposes infringements that go as far as annulling nominations if proven that they are made contrary to the requirements of the Directive.

Today’s Council agreement will pave way for further negotiations with the European Parliament to eventually introduce the legislation across the EU.

Vivian awarded the Equality Mark

Vivian kicked off it’s 70th Anniversary celebrations in the best possible way by being awarded the Equality Mark.

The Equality Mark is a certification awarded to companies that make gender equality one of their values and whose management is based on the recognition and promotion of the potential of all employees, irrespective of their gender and caring responsibilities.

The certification is based on the concept of gender equality where the rights, responsibilities and opportunities offered to men and women are not determined by sex, a concept that Vivian firmly believes in. This implies equal access to opportunities by focusing on individuals’ capabilities.

Vivian has shown commitment towards best practices in the area of gender equality, marital status, pregnancy as well as maternity and paternity benefits.

Vivian embraces and respects diversity, be it concerning gender, sexual orientation, nationality or religion , creating a harmonious culture not only within the organisation but also externally with all the esteemed stakeholders they connect with.

Vivian`s Managing Director, Joanna Gatt commented that ‘Achieving the Equality Mark has actually rubber stamped our values and modus operandi at Vivian throughout the years. We are truly very happy to have achieved this, so every Vivian colleague knows that we are respected for who we are as individuals because we embrace diversity to create harmony. I would also like to thank our HR team for making this possible.’

Building on the Equality certification, the company`s Corporate Social Responsibility team will be organising various events throughout 2022 to commemorate 70 years of service to patients.

Evolution of employment study

To mark its 10th year as a systemic player in the recruitment economy, Keepmeposted has produced its first comprehensive report on employment in Malta. This detailed and exhaustive analysis explores the evolution of employment in Malta over the past ten years, the changes and how it is likely to develop going forward. The global pandemic, undoubtedly responsible for the single biggest shift in working practices in recent times, was another reason that propelled Malta’s leading recruitment brand to commission such a report.

The study sheds light on areas surrounding employment over the past decade, with some key findings confirming that the rise of female employment rates was the factor that mostly fuelled the overall growth in employment rates, as a result of two main factors. Firstly, economic growth created many more job opportunities, and secondly, the country’s economic growth was accompanied by several fiscal incentives that enabled women to join the working world.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and its impact both globally and locally, led the team to carry out a deep dive into the specific changes it has brought about: those work practices that have worked and are likely to stay and those which will be ditched as soon as the pandemic is fully behind us. The data from the study highlights that the future of employment lies in combining both office and remote working.

Artificial Intelligence is expected to have an increasingly big impact on the type and size of businesses’ workforce, with repetitive jobs continuing to be taken over by machines over the next five to ten years. While some jobs, due to their very nature will never disappear, others will be gone by 2030. Manufacturing and production are also moving at a fast pace towards full automation.

As for the future of jobs, the data showed that local responses mirrored those reported in the World Economic Forum’s, ‘The Future of the Job’ report, published in October 2020. The general agreement is that AI and digitalisation will change the world of work with the pandemic accelerating this process. The data confirmed that there will be an increase in new jobs with the vast majority in technology and digitalisation, and the exciting prospect that greater use of technology will result in new service opportunities at better efficiencies and lower costs. Most of the respondents in the Keepmeposted survey also believed that greater use of technology would create new requirements in areas such as technical support, risk management, cybersecurity, data science, software development as well as AI, robotics, and the Internet of Things. In tandem to this, the data further highlights a need for a national strategy to reskill the workforce.

The full report which includes several key insights into the local economic landscape may be downloaded here:

The research and analysis were done by EMCS Ltd.

Diversity Pays

The Malta Chamber organised a conference titled Diversity Pays, showcasing the science which states that when men and women work together, the results are far greater. Ms Catherine Calleja, representing Atlas Insurance as well as The Malta Chamber’s Health & Wellness committee, was joined by President Marisa Xuereb and Ms Rachel Attard in opening the event.

Dr Roberta Metsola gave a digital intervention on video in support of the event, promoting the message that women can lead.

A presentation was given by Dr Anna Borg on gender balance & decision-making at the workplace, illustrating the science that shows how the participation of women in business and on boards leads to improved decision-making.

This was followed by a panel discussion including Dr Maryanne Caruana, a consultant cardiologist providing a different perspective on the conversation, as well as Natalie Briffa Farrugia, Chair of Vassallo Group. They were joined by two men on the panel; Mark Azzopardi of Working Town and psychotherapist Matthew Bartolo of Willingness Malta, to showcase that diversity is not just about women, but is about men and women working together as equals.

Dr Marthese Portelli provided concluding remarks, referencing statistics by McKinsey which demonstrate that female management leads to employees being better able to establish a work-life balance, confide in managers and receive more support.

HSBC Malta announces increased support for the JAYE Malta Foundation

The HSBC Malta Foundation is supporting the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JAYE) Malta Foundation with a grant of US$350,000 over the next two years. The Funds, which were allocated following a successful application by the HSBC Malta Foundation to HSBC’s global ‘Future Skills Impact Fund’, will help JAYE to continue bringing entrepreneurship and financial literacy into the communities of the Maltese islands via the JAYE Local Council’s Project 2021 – 2023.

Within the framework of the project, JAYE Malta will train local businesses to become facilitators of knowledge in their communities. In turn, these businesses, with the support of local communities, will deliver upskilling and reskilling sessions to various sectors of the community, such as school children, the elderly, and people who are out work, in several localities in Malta and Gozo. Delivery of the educational sessions will be carefully tailored to the audience’s age and background.

The main topics of the training sessions will include, but will not be limited to, financial management and literacy skills, with an emphasis on credit scoring and creditworthiness and their relevance to individuals’ life choices.

Simon Vaughan Johnson, the CEO of HSBC Malta, said: “HSBC is delighted to be able to support this important initiative in our community. Financial literacy is an essential life skill that supports key decisions throughout the various stages in a person’s life. The HSBC Malta Foundation has worked closely together with the JAYE Malta Foundation for many years to nurture the financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills of people in our local community and we are honoured to be contributing significant additional support today to ensure that we provide access to the financial skills which everyone needs to lead a successful life.”

Chris Vassallo Cesareo, the Chairperson of JAYE Malta Foundation, said: “As a member of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, we have always worked hard to foster economic development by improving the understanding of business, economics, employability, and entrepreneurship. HSBC Malta and the HSBC Malta Foundation have been partners in our efforts for many years, and this project, with HSBC’s support, will reach people who are most in the need of acquiring skills that are essential to improve their lives.”

The Future Skills project was officially launched on 2 March 2022 and will run for the coming two years. Visit for more information.

BNF Bank relocates Customer Care Centre operations to Paola branch

During the last week of January, BNF Bank has relocated the Customer Care Centre operations from its Head Office in Gzira to its Paola premises, to better serve a range of customer requirements. The Customer Care Centre has been a key service delivery channel for BNF Bank since its inception, proving to be an important first point of contact for the Bank’s customers, from daily inquiries to wider banking functions. Recently, the BNF Customer Care Centre has refocused its strategy to enhance its call centre functions and streamlining operations with the objective of offering a frictionless, high-quality banking experience. With highly trained, empathic people available to answer both concerns and urgent requests, the Customer Care Centre offers BNF customers peace of mind without having to book an appointment or step into one of its branches spread around Malta and Gozo.

In addition to the human interaction provided by the team of customer care officials, BECS, BNF e-Customer Service Agent has for some time been successfully deployed to further enhance the service delivery 24/7/365 through the interactive chatbot available both through the Bank’s website and Facebook page.

Leading on from this, Rueben Bezzina, Head of Retail Banking at BNF Bank commented, “We understand that post-Covid people value interactions which are simple, safe, and that enable them to get on with their daily needs, not least their banking requirements. Our focus has always been on offering services that add value and meet the demand of our customers. The relocation of BNF’s Customer Care Centre is just another exciting change that will support this. We are always on the lookout for exceptional people to join our team and encourage those interested to join BNF’s exciting journey where one will find the right support and environment to flourish a fledgling career in banking.”

FATF news welcomed by The Malta Chamber

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry welcomes the news that the FATF February 2022 Plenary made the initial determination that Malta has substantially completed its action plan and warrants an on-site visit.

The Malta Chamber urges the relevant authorities and all private sector stakeholders to remain committed to the process so that Malta will exit the greylist in the coming months. The Malta Chamber will continue to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between all parties concerned so that systems and procedures are optimised, and high standards and good practices can be sustainably maintained. This is imperative for Malta’s reputation as a financial jurisdiction to be restored.

Election 2022: The Malta Chamber Debates

The Malta Chamber is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a debate between Prime Minister Robert Abela and Leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech. This debate will be live on Facebook on Wednesday 16th March 2022 at 11:00am. Members of the business community will be invited to attend for this discussion.


This week The Malta Chamber published it Pre Election document, ‘Time to Step Up`, featuring 100 recommendations addressing; Economic Recovery, Resilience & Growth, Good Governance, Human Capital & Education, Infrastructure & Digitalisation and Sustainability.

The right of every country to protect its sovereignty goes beyond commercial interests

The Malta Chamber expressed its full support with the Ukrainian people, agreeing to concrete actions to stand up against the violent stance adopted by the Russian Government. The present humanitarian situation and the right of every country to protect its sovereignty goes beyond purely commercial interests. The circumstances warrant the imposition of effective sanctions.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry will not be issuing Certificates of Origin for fuel oil originating in Russia or Belarus with immediate effect. As the entity responsible for issuing Certificates of Origin, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry will not be issuing Certificates of Origin for fuel oil originating in Russia or Belarus with immediate effect. The Malta Chamber is monitoring the issue of sanctions and will communicate relevant developments with its members as they arise.

While it is a fact that such sanctions will also hurt third-party business interests as well as Russians who may not necessarily agree with the war being waged against the Ukraine, the invasion of an independent, sovereign country is first degree warfare that calls for firm, consolidated international action. The Malta Chamber appealed to Government to ensure that appropriate actions are taken against any holders of a Maltese passport connected to the Russian Government. This will ensure and safeguard the national interest at EU level and Malta’s international credibility in terms of our commitment to support the international community in responding decisively and collectively to what is a clear threat the security and stability of Europe. The decision to suspend new applications for citizenship from Russian and Belarusian passport holders is hence a step in the right direction.

The Russian Government is destroying the lives of millions, from those being killed in the Ukraine to those being rendered poor overnight in Russia due to the direct consequences of war. Mindful of the gravity of the situation, the European Union is taking unprecedented actions, which the Malta Chamber urges the Maltese Government to support in the most unequivocal of ways. It is only through decisive collective action that we can hope to dissuade the Russian Government from pursuing a protracted course of action that will bring nothing but devastation and threats of mass destruction on European soil.

The Malta Chamber commended Government’s pledge to provide oncology treatment to patients who are fleeing the war and appealed to Government to facilitate the entry into Malta of Ukrainian refugees, particularly those who may already have relatives living and working in Malta. The offer by a number of leading hotels to host refugees while they quarantine is a noble act of solidarity. Businesses operating in other sectors have offered assistance in other forms, and The Malta Chamber is currently assessing how best to channel this assistance, mindful of the fact that many refugees could be arriving in Malta in the coming weeks and will need substantial help.

The President of The Malta Chamber, Marisa Xuereb, met with the resident Ambassador of Poland, H.E. Tomasz Czyszek, to discuss the situation at the Polish border with the Ukraine. On behalf of the Maltese business community, Ms Xuereb strongly condemned the brutal attack on the sovereignty of Ukraine and expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are bravely defending their country in the face of the most menacing threat to European stability since the end of the Cold War. She also expressed appreciation for Poland’s efforts in welcoming many thousands of refugees, mostly women with children and elderly, through several reception centres that Poland has set up along its border with the Ukraine. In the spirit of solidarity, she extended the business community’s wish to actively help these refugees.