New targets for female representation at senior levels

May 2, 2024

Balance for Better Business (B4BB), an independent review group established by the Government, has today launched a new strategy, targets and roadmap to improve gender balance at board and leadership level among businesses in Ireland.

The group has set a new target for organisations to exceed 40% female representation on boards and leadership teams in 2024.

The launch of a new five-year strategy by Balance for Better Business follows a commitment by the Government in 2023 to renew the initiative.

Over the next five years the strategy will focus on driving progress in gender balance, setting ambitious targets for businesses with an annual review to measure progress.

On the policy front, B4BB said it will take a collaborative role in working with different stakeholders to help inform and shape national policy impacting gender balance and further embed gender balance in the corporate agenda.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Peter Burke said that over the past five years, Irish businesses have made extraordinary progress in gender balance, with female representation on the boards of ISEQ20 listed companies rising by 22 percentage points to reach the milestone of 40% earlier this year.

“However, there is still much work to do, in particular to accelerate the pace of change in non-listed companies and within particular industries,” Mr Burke said.

“Today’s launch of the Balance for Better Business five-year strategy marks an important step forward, setting out an ambitious new programme for the next five years, and reaffirming Government’s commitment to building an equitable, diverse and inclusive economy,” he added.

Balance for Better Business co-chair Carol Andrews said the new strategy will enable the group to accelerate the pace of change in key focus areas.

“With the release of our new roadmap supporting firms to take the necessary steps for change, we hope to continue driving sustainable progress towards these goals and achieve a more inclusive system of business leadership that truly reflects Irish society,” Ms Andrews said.

Balance for Better Business co-chair Aongus Hegarty said its new plan provides clear guidance on how organisations can advance their gender balance journey in a structured way.

“These key focus areas include making a plan and regularly measuring against targets, developing gender balanced succession plans, and providing the right talent development and retention supports for talent to advance within an organisation,” Mr Hegarty said.

Article Source: New targets for female representation at senior levels

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