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Corporate directors in favour of gender quotas, says survey

AUDIO: 82% say there is an imbalance in the boardroom

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Jack Quann
09:38 Monday 26 August 2013

Gender quotas in the boardroom could be a step closer. A survey carried out by Harty International on boardroom balance has found that 40% of bosses are in favour of gender quotas.

But the advance is followed closely by 37% saying having to fulfil the criteria is not top of their agenda.

The majority of corporate directors in Ireland, who took part in the research, feel that there are imbalances in the diversity (75%), international expertise (57%) and age (55%) of corporate boards.

While looking specifically at gender, an overwhelming 82% of respondents feel there is a disparity between the sexes.

"Diversity at board level provides a basis for more informed decision making processes, benefiting corporates overall. Irish boards must consider a broad range of qualities and attributes, beyond those directly related to the position, when appointing a new board member" the firm says.

The survey also shows that despite the openness of directors to gender quotas, 52% believe it will have a negative impact on 'securing the best person for the job' compared to 40% who believe it would be positive.

Where directors see the benefit of gender quotas is improving equality in the workplace (81%), increasing competition for top positions (55.6%) and the overall productivity of the organisation (48%).

John Harty is Managing Director of Harty International and says there are many factors - as well as gender - which should be balanced at the boardroom table.

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Jack Quann

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