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Press Statement

Preasr√°iteas

12 July 2021

Press Statement Gender Balance in Business Survey 2021

One in eight Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in Ireland were female
  • Three in ten (30%) Senior Executives in large enterprises in Ireland were female
  • Of Senior Executives in their positions for less than a year, 36% were female
  • Just over 13% of CEOs and 28% of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) were female
  • Female representation on Boards increased from 20% in 2019 to 22% in 2021
  • Male Board members accounted for 86% of Board Chairpersons
  • Almost three in ten (29%) enterprises had at least 40% female representation at Senior Executive level while 18% of enterprises had female representation of at least 40% on Boards of Directors

Go to release: Gender Balance in Business Survey 2021

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (12 July 2021) published the results of the Gender Balance in Business Survey (GBB). This is 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 01 January 2021.

The online survey was sent to nearly 700 businesses and the information was collected between 29 April and 01 July 2021. The response rate to the survey was 67%. Commenting on the results, Statistician, Colin Hanley, said:

"The results show that on 01 January 2021, 30% of Senior Executives in large enterprises in Ireland were female; a slight increase from the 28% reported in 2019. 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. 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 (31%) of appointed board members in 2020 were female which accounts for 13% of all female directors. Administrative & Support Services had the highest proportion of female board membership at 33% while Construction had the highest male board membership at 94%.

Female 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 female and 79% male. Of those on the board for five years or more, 11% were female and 89% male.

The 2021 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 (36%) of Service enterprises met this 40% threshold for Senior Executives and 26% had for Boards of Directors.

Note that the results presented in the survey represent responding enterprises only and are unweighted."

The CSO wishes to thank all respondents for their participation in the survey.

For further information contact:

Colin Hanley (+353) 21 453 5559

or email business_stats@cso.ie

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