Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach
Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach

Megan Burns

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life
5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life

Jennifer McShane

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have done’
Toxic relationships: ‘Why walking away from my mum was the best thing I could have...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Female Leaders Will Increase Profits: Like-Minded Echo Chambers Will Not


by Colette Sexton
08th Mar 2018
blank

Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on why your leadership team should not mirror your views.


Having a diverse board is good for business, for both profits and perceptions. But unfortunately, many leaders of Irish businesses, either consciously or unconsciously, still surround themselves with like-minded echo chambers.

The culture of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is rife in the business world here. As a result, half of all male directors were recruited after being directly approached by a member of the board; compared to just 19 per cent of women, according to research carried out by the Institute of Directors in Ireland last year. Over two-thirds (67 per cent) knew three or more people on the board of the company they joined.

This situation is not improving, and in some respects it actually appears to be getting worse. More female respondents (22 per cent) in 2017 said they believed that they are losing out on board appointments because of their gender, compared to 16 per cent in 2015 saying gender had been a factor in their not being appointed to a board.

An overwhelming majority of respondents (81 per cent) agreed that board diversity leads to enhanced board effectiveness and enhanced company performance, but it appears these thoughts are not being followed by action. Some 65 per cent of directors said they had less than 30 per cent female representation on boards and 28 per cent reported less than 10 per cent female membership.

This lack of female representation is bad for business, bad for women and bad for men. Companies that have cultures that help women advance, including having senior female leaders, also benefit men, according to research released by Accenture this week.  

Accenture’s Getting To Equal study found that in organisations with a culture of equality, women are four times more likely to advance in their careers and men are twice as likely, while 95 per cent of people are satisfied with their career path. As well as that, Irish women are far more likely to be on the fast track in organisations where there is at least one female senior leader (24 per cent compared to 3 per cent where there is no female senior leader).

There are some organisations and leaders out there who are actively trying to improve diversity in Irish businesses. One of these is the 30% Club Ireland, which was set up here three years ago and aims to achieve better gender balance at all levels in leading Irish businesses. It is a collaborative business-led effort with a target of securing 30% female representation in senior management by 2020. The 30% Club believes that gender balance in leadership contributes to better governance and increased corporate performance for both companies and their shareholders.

It is not alone in that belief. Dozens of research studies from reputable sources including Grant Thornton, Credit Suisse, KPMG, Citigroup, have proven that diversity is good for business. Diversity, in terms of gender, socio-economic backgrounds and minorities, leads to healthy debate which means better decisions are made. It is reflective of the real world and can improve the reputation and brand perception. And of course, it increases profits.

It is International Women’s Day – what better opportunity to take a look at your leadership team. Does it feel like you’re looking in the mirror?

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Also Read

Mandy Moore pumping
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan

blank
EDITORIAL
The life-changing act of binning all your terrible underwear

A life of wearing the wrong underwear had Sophie White’s knickers in a twist. She reports on the unexpected satisfaction...

By Sophie White

alternative asthma treatments
EDITORIAL
Three alternative asthma treatments to try this hayfever season

Approximately 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hayfever, which can make summer days a nightmare. These three alternative...

By Grace McGettigan

Nóra Quoirin
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Inquest ruling changed to open verdict in Nóra Quoirin’s death

A Malaysian judge has overturned an inquest verdict of misadventure in the death of 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin, changing it to...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane

abgc_architects_aoife_herrity
EDITORIAL
A plain extension in Dublin 8 provides a blank canvas for a design-minded couple

ABGC Architects were enlisted to transform a large white box into a functional living space for two design-minded homeowners. When...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane