Gender Balance in Boardroom Improved, Yet Three Public Companies Still have All-Male Boards
Despite tremendous progress toward gender balance in the last year, three publicly traded companies in Ireland still have all-male boards.
According to the fifth annual report from the Balance for Better Business Review Group, that figure was down from five all-male boards in 2021.
The study said there was only one female chair represented on the 20 largest ISEQ-listed companies this year.
But there has been a significant increase in the number of women on the boards of these companies. This year, 36% of the ISEQ 20 boards are made up of women, which is a big change.
That exceeded the 30% target for the end of 2022 and 33% for the end of 2023.
In other publicly traded companies, the percentage of women on boards has risen to 26%, above the 22% objective set for the end of 2022.
This marks a 16 percentage point increase since 2018.
Three-quarters of the ISEQ 20 companies currently have three or more female board members.
For other ISEQ-listed businesses, the number of companies with three or more women on their boards has surpassed 50% for the first time, reaching 51%.
According to the report, Ireland has outperformed the EU27 average for the share of women on top company boards by 1.6 percentage points.
Since the establishment of the Balance for Better Business group in 2018, the gap between Ireland and the rest of the EU has shrunk year after year.
"Those efforts to date are reflected in the progress that has been made across the past year in terms of gender balance at the Board level, even though work remains to be done to ensure that women can progress into the most senior positions on Board and leadership teams." Balance for Better Business co-chair Julie Sinnamon stated.
"While the progress made this year among businesses is to be welcomed, there are still too many companies with all-male boards and leadership teams in Ireland," Balance for Better Business co-chair Aongus Hegarty said.
"This is despite the compelling business case for having an equal number of men and women in senior leadership positions, including greater levels of innovation, enhanced financial returns, and stronger Environmental, Social and Government (ESG) performance," he added.
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