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One in eight chief executives are women, figures show

The online survey was sent to nearly 700 businesses.

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An office in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

An office in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

An office in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Only one in eight chief executive officers (CEOs) in Ireland are women, new statistics show.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also show that three in 10 senior executives in large enterprises in Ireland are women, a slight increase from the 28% reported in 2019.

The Gender Balance in Business survey revealed that of the senior executives in their positions for less than a year, 36% were women.

Almost three in 10 enterprises had at least 40% female representation at senior executive level, while 18% of enterprises had women representation of at least 40% on boards of directors.

The latest figures comes from the second iteration of the survey which asks large businesses, 250 or more employees, to provide information on the members of both their senior executive team and board of directors as of January 1.

The online survey was sent to nearly 700 businesses and the information was collected between April 29 and July 1 2021.

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The response rate to the survey was 67%.

Statistician Colin Hanley said: “Of the senior executive appointments in the last year, 36% went to women.

“In the past two years, 43% of external appointments were female compared to 33% of internal appointments.

Female representation on boards increased from 20% in 2019 to 22% in 2021Colin Hanley

“Men occupied 87% of CEO positions, down slightly from 89% in 2019.

“Women occupied 28% of CFO positions while 72% were men.

“Female representation on boards increased from 20% in 2019 to 22% in 2021.

“Almost a third of appointed board members in 2020 were female which accounts for 13% of all female directors.

“Administrative and support services had the highest proportion of female board membership at 33% while construction had the highest male board membership at 94%.”

Figures show show that women representation of board chairpersons increased from 7% in 2019 to 14% in 2021.

Of the chairpersons who have been on the board for less than a year, 21% were women and 79% men.

Of those on the board for five years or more, 11% were women and 89% men.

The survey also shows that 29% of enterprises reported having at least 40% female representation at senior executive level while 18% had at least 40% female representation on boards of directors.

More than a third of service enterprises met this 40% threshold for senior executives and 26% had for boards of directors.


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