More action needed to increase women's role on State Boards - Minister Lynch calls on the Cabinet for renewed effort

At its Cabinet meeting this morning, the Minister of State for Equality, Ms. Kathleen Lynch T.D., told the Government that there is a real need for each Department and its Minister to strengthen efforts to appoint women to the country’s State Boards, if the Government is to reach its own target of 40 per cent by 2016. 

At the end of 2011, women filled just below 34 per cent of these seats.  Minster Lynch reminded the Ministerial team that the 40 per cent goal was first set some 20 years ago.  Statistics have now been tracked annually for ten years.   The Minister pointed out that, while there was good progress in the beginning and this has continued in some Departments, the overall outcomes aggregated across all Departments, had been at roughly the same level of 33/34 per cent for the past six years.    

The Minister noted that there is still a wide variation in the composition of Boards between Departments.  Those with a social focus – health, education and the social services – are more likely to have a higher female representation, while the economic Departments are much below the average.  

Minister Lynch has long been an advocate for the advancement of women.  She hosted a very successful conference on the topic of women in politics earlier this year, while she also took place in a Council of Ministers’ policy debate on the role of women on corporate boards, related to Commission Vice President Reding’s initiative in February this year. 

Speaking about the importance of increasing women’s presence on State Boards, Minister Lynch noted that Ireland has one of the best educated female populations in the world, with women playing leadership roles in many diverse and challenging areas at home and abroad.  She firmly believes that many of the State Boards should welcome, and would benefit from, the vision of these experienced women.

The Minister also advised the Government that the voluntary "Board Diversity Initiative: Making Women Visible" had assembled a portfolio of CVs of women from a wide range of backgrounds who were ready to be considered for board positions. "There really is no excuse not to see real progress on this Government commitment in 2013", she said. 

18 December 2012

ENDS 

 

Note for editors:

 

These data are collated by the Department of Justice and Equality.

 

The key statistics for 2011 are appended.


 

 

Membership of State Boards by Gender on 31 December 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department

 

 

Current members by gender

Gender of Chairpersons

Number of Boards

Total number of places on Boards   

Board positions currently vacant

Men  

Women 

Current Total  

Women as % of Current Total

Male

Women 

Total

Women As % of Total

Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

12

121

4

94

23

117

20%

9

2

11

18.2%

Dept of Arts ,Heritage and the Gaeltacht

17

245

19

142

84

226

37.2%

15

2

17

11.8%

Dept of Communications, Energy& Natural Resources

18

168

20

110

38

148

25.7%

16

2

18

11.1%

Dept of Children & Youth Affairs

4

45

14

15

16

31

51.6%

2

0

2

0.0%

Dept of Defence

2

17

0

11

6

17

35.3%

2

0

2

0.0%

Dept of Education and Skills

50

919

28

560

331

891

37.1%

44

6

50

12.0%

Dept of Jobs Enterprise & Innovation

14

273

18

184

71

255

27.8%

8

5

13

38.5%

Dept of Environment Community & Local Government

22

278

15

172

91

263

34.6%

13

9

22

40.9%

Dept of Finance

13

99

8

73

18

91

19.8%

12

1

13

7.7%

Dept of Health

35

485

84

223

178

401

44.4%

25

8

33

24.2%

Dept of Justice & Equality

42

357

66

185

106

291

36.4%

25

13

38

34.2%

Dept of Social Protection

3

37

1

20

16

36

44.4%

1

2

3

66.7%

Dept of the Taoiseach

2

42

2

28

12

40

30.0%

1

1

2

50.0%

Dept of Transport Tourism & Sport

33

330

21

237

72

309

23.3%

29

4

33

12.1%

Dept of Public Expenditure

5

48

2

35

11

46

23.9%

5

0

5

0.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS

          272

         3,464

        302

  2,089

   1,073

     3,162

33.9%

     207

55

262

21.0%