Average composition of Irish company boards now 31% female

The number of women on the boards of Irish companies has increased by 7% since 2017.

Research from EY says the average composition of Irish boards is now 31% female and 69% male.

The research also found that in spite of the progress made in gender representation on boards, just 35% of respondents say their organisation has taken appropriate measures to address the causes of any gender pay gap.

Olivia McEvoy, Director of Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Service at EY Ireland, says while the progress made is encouraging, the lived experience for women in the workplace can be a different matter.

"Even in seemingly more progressive organisations, men are still more likely to be promoted so we need to continue to strengthen our efforts through leadership behaviour, accountability, investment and measuring the impact of [diversity and inclusion] programs to achieve meaningful and impactful change.

She says if organisations don't measure the impact of diversity and inclusion, there's little hope of real change.

"That lack of measurement and accountability that we see in the survey results helps explain that chasm between the importance organisations say they attach to diversity and inclusion versus what actually translates into action," she said.

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