Women Hold Just Four Out of 36 CEO Positions in Ireland’s Publicly Listed Companies
The fifth annual report of the Balance for Better Business Review Group, published today, reveals that while Irish businesses have made significant progress in achieving gender balance at Board level over the past year, there are still significant challenges to overcome.
Ireland now exceeds the EU27 average for the proportion of women on leading company Boards for the first time however, the report reveals that additional focus is required to ensure that women progress into more senior leadership roles and specifically to CEO, CFO and Chair roles.
Although the ISEQ20 companies exceeded their 2022 target for female representation at senior leadership level, reaching 27% against a target of 26%, other listed companies have missed their 22% target for the year. Meanwhile, the report shows that women hold just four out of 36 CEO positions in publicly listed companies.
Although it has been a stated target of Balance for Better Business that no listed companies should have all- male Boards, there are still three listed companies with all-male Boards, albeit down from five all-male Boards in 2021, with just one female Chair represented on the ISEQ20.
The report was launched by Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD who said, ‘Despite the progress, it’s clear that more work needs to be done. Women are still underrepresented in senior roles both at Board and senior leadership level, with just one female Chair on the ISEQ20 and only a small number of female CEOs on publicly listed companies. By failing to include women in leadership teams, businesses ignore the talent of half the population. While change takes time, it’s crucial that businesses redouble their efforts in 2023 to create more opportunities for women to succeed to the highest levels of Irish business.’
Balance for Better Business co-chair Julie Sinnamon said, ‘Since its launch in 2018, Balance for Better Business has worked not only to promote gender balance at Board and executive leadership levels, but also to share the experience of organisations on the journey towards achieving gender balance. Those efforts to date are reflected in the progress that has been made across the past year in terms of gender balance at Board level, notwithstanding the fact that work remains to be done to ensure that women are able to progress into the most senior positions on Board and leadership teams.’
The report by the Government established initiative shows that in 2022, the percentage of women on the Boards of ISEQ20 companies rose to 36%, exceeding the 30% target set for the end of 2022 as well as the 33% target set for the end of 2023.
According to the report, ISEQ20 Boards have also continued to move beyond a “one and done” approach to adding women to their Boards, with almost three quarters of ISEQ20 listed companies now having three or more female Board members.