Little change at the top as Irish boardrooms remain a male affair

August 2017. The Irish Times.

“When the late Gillian Bowler became the chairwoman of Irish Life & Permanent in June 2004, she was the first woman to fill that role in any Irish public limited company (plc). Thirteen years later, the boardrooms of listed companies remain predominantly male. Since 2011, a year that marked a major push for female representation on boards, there has been some progress. But in Ireland that progress has been slow and often underwhelming. Despite widespread acceptance that balanced and diverse boards are better for business, men hold sway over women. “Far more remains to be done,” as one company, Tullow Oil, put it. In an analysis of the boards of 31 Irish publicly quoted companies – 26 listed on the main market of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) and five listed only outside Ireland (Greencore, UDG Healthcare, Grafton, DCC and Ardagh) – The Irish Times found that women accounted for shy of 16 per cent of the board seats.”

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