Wednesday, October 03 11:26:50
A survey by the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) has identified the main barriers to women accessing the boardroom.
The research found that over 2 in 5 (44pc) directors surveyed believe that the dominant number of men at board level is a barrier to women obtaining positions on the boards of Irish listed companies. A further 2 in 5 (44pc) directors surveyed also believe there is a lack of support for women to move beyond management into board positions.
Unsurprisingly, the statistics are higher among women, with over two-thirds (67pc) of women surveyed citing the number of men at board level as a barrier and over half (58pc) identifying a lack of support for women to move to board positions as a barrier to appointment.
One third (34pc) of men surveyed agree that the profession is too male dominated and almost 2 in 5 (38pc) believe there is a lack of support for women to reach board level.
"A change in attitude is taking place at board level and there is now recognition by directors that gender imbalance in the boardroom is an issue. We are slowly moving towards a consensus of opinion on the barriers to women obtaining board positions and the next step is identifying how best to overcome and remove those barriers and what actions to take," said Maura Quinn, Chief Executive, Institute of Directors in Ireland.
Of all directors surveyed, 1 in 2 (50pc) believes that the pool of suitably qualified women is not large enough, rising to 3 in 5 (60pc) of men surveyed. In addition, over half (56pc) of women surveyed argue that interlocking directorships mean there are not enough positions available to women. Women also argue that they do not have access to the same network of contacts as men, with 47pc holding this view.