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Government must make commitment to get more women on boards

Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today welcomes the news that the EU Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of gender quotas for publicly listed boards and calls for a response from the Irish government regarding what action they will take to promote gender equality in economic decision making.

Orla O’Connor, Director of National Women’s Council of Ireland said,
“Today’s vote saw MEPs  support a EU Commission proposal to ensure gender balance on boards for publicly-listed companies. They called on companies to ensure that at least 40% of their non-executive board members are female. This is a historic moment for gender equality at decision making level in Europe.”

Orla O’Connor also said
“This highlights the need for Irish legislation to step up women's membership of and participation in boards of listed companies. This is currently a reality in some EU Member States, and urgent action is required to ensure that Ireland does not fall further behind. In Ireland only 9% of board positions on the ISEQ20 and 34% of State board positions are held by women.  This low rate of women’s representation is reflective of the persistent unequal access to economic, social and cultural resources between women and men.”

Orla O’Connor concluded
“Irish women are just as qualified as men and can make a significant contribution to improving business performance and governance standards.  The Irish government must act to ensure that companies recruit new board members from the full pool of talent available to them. To make this happen, Irish legislation must oblige rather than just encourage companies to comply.” 


For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Tel. 085 858 9104.