News & Events


Women in Leadership North and South

European Parliament Office
Monday, 6 July 2015

Women in Leadership Conference Web Large







While the status of women in the workplace has improved somewhat in recent years, progress is still pitifully slow in some key areas. Leadership is an obvious case in point.

According to the National Women’s Council of Ireland: ‘To build a more equal Ireland we need to increase the participation of women in the decisions which affect their daily lives’. This means women must be present at the table so they can participate meaningfully in debates and shape policy. Women’s equal participation and representation is also a key theme in the international Women, Peace and Security agenda driven by the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform and the Assembly’s 1325 Committee and the Irish Government’s UNSCR 1325 Monitoring Committee in the South. In February the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive Review Committee launched its Report on Women in Politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly with 29 recommendations for political parties, the Assembly and the Executive. The introduction of gender quotas for the next general election in the Irish Republic is a step forward, but clearly much more still needs to be done. Initiatives are underway on women’s leadership in the community sector and on increasing women’s participation on public sector boards in Northern Ireland. Some EU countries have introduced gender quotas for Boards and final approval is awaited from the Council of Ministers for an EU Directive on a 40% procedural quota for non-executive directors on Boards.  

Whether at local government or national political level, on public or private sector Boards, in relation to senior executive posts across sectors or within the community, much remains to be done to achieve gender-balanced leadership in both jurisdictions.  This conference looked at three key areas of leadership from a gender perspective: Women's Leadership in Political and Public Life; Civic Leaders and the Leadership Pipeline and Political Leadership.

Click here to view the Conference Programme

Conference Report

Conference Presentations

Prof Yvonne Galligan (QUB) Fiona Buckley (UCC)
Senator Ivana Bacik Grainne McVeigh (WINET)
Kate McCullough (NI Women's European Platform) Suzanne Collins (Women for Election)
Louise Glennon (NWCI)  

 IBIS gratefully acknowledges support from the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade Reconciliation Fund