News Focus: What will it take to get more women to the top of Irish business?

Research tells us that the top tiers of Irish companies are almost entirely occupied by men – and that the dial has barely moved on this in 20 years. Some controversial new strategies to change things are on the way, write Rosanna Cooney and Rachel Lavin

Anne O’Leary of Vodafone Ireland: ‘The talent is already there’. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Anne-Marie Taylor first started researching the gender profile of Irish boardrooms in the early 1990s. Back then, the number of women on Irish company boards stood in the low single digits.

But Taylor, now a seasoned board member and management consultant, didn’t see an immediate cause for concern. Surely gender balance wasn’t far off – it was just a matter of time, a few years at most.

“I thought it would all be fine. I ...