New research which has looked at women’s career progression in Ireland finds that leading C-Level Executives take less than 20% of the national average Maternity Leave.
The research has also shown that while there is parity in terms of salaries for men and women at C-Level, only 26% of C-Level Executives in Ireland are women.
The research which was conducted by Irish Global Executive search firm Ardlinn (part of Cpl Resources Group), found that Ireland’s leading female executives take a total of 9.6 weeks maternity leave throughout their career, compared to the national average of 52 weeks (working on the research statistics of 1.2 v 1.4 children respectively).
According to Áine Brolly, Founder and Director of Ardlinn, the survey highlights that there is an underlying fear that an average period of maternity leave will negatively impact career progression, which is reflected in the disparity of leave between the national average and C-Level Executives. She claims that while it is hard for women to achieve C-Level status, it is even harder to stay there with the pressures of career versus maternity and family.
While welcoming new Parental Leave legislation proposed within the Oireachtas which would see an extension of the current limit at 18 weeks for every child aged eight and under increase to 26 weeks, Áine has called upon government to get in line with the EU average of 97.8 weeks (the maximum allocation in Ireland is currently 60 weeks) and create an environment where maternity and paternity conditions encourage women to stay in the workforce.
Speaking this week, Áine said, "The traditional roles in Ireland are changing with a greater proportion of females now acting as the top earner within their household, and it’s time this was reflected in wider policy. Maternity leave should not come down entirely to the decision of protecting your career or your family’s interests."
She added, "The Parental Leave Bill would provide a means of offsetting career fears, enabling a more collaborative approach for families, but it must go further to ensure a fair deal for ambitious and career driven women. Even with the proposed extension we will still fall short of the EU average."