Ahead of International Women’s Day, County Kildare Chamber calls on the next Government to significantly improve labour participation and work with business in transforming our workplaces, making them more flexible and inclusive. In particular, The Chamber calls for action on reducing the gender gaps in employment, pay and pensions
Speaking this morning (6 March 2020) after the Chamber’s International Women’s Day breakfast in Palmerstown House, Chamber CEO Allan Shine said,
“The best way for Kildare and Ireland to remain competitive and sustainable as an economy is through the empowerment of all of the talent and skills at our disposal. Central to this, we need to see more action to support those who want to be part of the workplace.
The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that female labour force participation is still significantly lower at 56.6%, compared to 69% for men. Although this figure has somewhat improved in the last number of years, labour participation for women in Ireland is still well below the EU average.
While the focus of the last Government fixed primarily on using gender-pay gap reporting, we need to see the next Government go much further to address the structural obstacles to greater workplace participation for women.
Speakers at this year’s event were Dr Gemma Irvine, Vice President for Equality and Diversity Maynooth University, Deirdre Coghlan Murray, Managing Director of Clark and Sasha Kerins, Tax Partner with Grant Thornton. The event MC’d by Brian Purcell of BP Communications was attended by a diverse sector of businesses from throughout Kildare. The morning was kindly sponsored by Clark.
Allan Shine said. “We’re calling for increased investment in affordable, quality childcare, the provision of shared parental leave and the introduction of a national strategy to supports business to offer more flexible working.
A framework that supports employment to be more flexible and inclusive will ensure that the workplace of the 21st century is family, age and disability friendly. Through this, the number of people at work will not only increase, but productivity, well-being and economic outcomes will also improve, leaving society to reap the benefits.
Economic outcomes for women have improved dramatically in recent decades but work remains. We in Kildare Chamber want to work with legislators to ensure that we eradicate these gaps and make Kildare a better place for women and a better place for business.”
(Photos Credit: Tony Gavin Photography)