Irish Business Leaders Call on CEOs and Chairmen to Accelerate Better Gender Balance at all Levels

30% Club aims to reach 30% female gender balance in Ireland by 2020

Dublin, 25th November, 2014: Irish business leaders have called on corporate Ireland to support better gender balance at all levels of organisations. Marie O’Connor, 30% Club Leader in Ireland and partner at PwC urged CEOs and Chairmen to join a global movement called the ‘30% Club’, which aims to reach a 30% female gender balance on Irish boards and executive management level by 2020.Ms O’Connor was speaking at a conferencetoday hosted by Ibec and the Department of Justice and Equality at Dublin Castle.

The 30% Club is a group of international chairmen and CEOs who are committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations through voluntary actions. The 30% Club has been established in Ireland with the support of founding Chairmen Nicky Hartery, CRH; Vivienne Jupp, CIE; Michael Buckley, formerly DCC; Lochlann Quinn, ESB, Kieran McGowan, Business in the Community and Gary Kennedy, Greencore.

In addition to its goal to reach a 30% female gender balance on Irish boards and at executive management level by 2020, the movement seeks to gain support for gender balance at all levels from business leaders in public, private, state and multinational companies and other interested groups. Research carried out by the 30% Club Ireland shows that female participation on the boards of 50 listed companies on the Irish Stock Exchange is currently at 10%. The research also revealed that 48% of these companies have no female directors at all.

The research also revealed that 48% of these companies have no female directors at all.

Speaking about the initiative at the conference entitled ‘Investing in Talent – Promoting Gender Balanced Leadership’, Marie O’Connor said: “We are calling on Chairmen and CEOs of companies throughout Ireland to support the 30% Club and help to accelerate better gender balance by 2020.”

“Research indicates that having at least 30% senior female representatives within an organisation significantly influences both a company’s culture and decision making. This leads to enhanced performance, innovation and talent retention which creates a positive impact on businesses’ corporate results and ultimately increases shareholder value. We are focused on influencing voluntary change from senior leaders as opposed to supporting mandatory quotas, which may not lead to sustainable change.”

Founded in the UK in 2010by Helena Morrissey, Chief Executive Officer at Newton Investment Management, the 30% Club operates in the UK, the US, Hong Kong and Ireland with further Clubs being established in Canada, Australia and South Africabefore the end of this year. The UK Club was founded with the aspiration of increasing the number of women on FTSE-100 boards from 12.5% to 30% by the end 2015. There are now 117 supporters in the UK Club and the proportion of female FTSE-100 directors has risen to 22.8%.

CEOs and Chairs (or companies) who become supporters of the 30% Club Ireland will be invited to participate in a series of events. The first event – a seminar entitled ‘Business Leadership: Accelerating Gender Balance at all Levels’ will take place on 21st January, 2015 at the Science Gallery in Dublin.

CEOs and Chairs from over 50 Irish companies have already supported the 30% Club. For further information or to become a supporter of the 30% Club Ireland, visit or contact


For further information please contact:

Maria Doyle, FleishmanHillard, or 01 618 8431