Commenting on the establishment of the review group, Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary, Patricia King said: “Congress recognises the urgent need for action in this area. Earlier this year we showed in our annual report on CEO pay, ‘Because We’re Worth it – the Truth about CEO Pay’ (January 2018), that there were only two female CEOs in twenty-seven leading Irish companies we reviewed.”

Ms King continued: “The Review Group needs to take a holistic view of the barriers women face daily in the workforce and if the recommendations are to fully capture this, it is essential that the voices and experiences of female workers are included. Achieving gender diversity on corporate boards is unlikely to be realised if this new initiative is confined to senior figures in business and government officials”.

“As the representative of some 800,000 working people, some 50 per cent of whom are female, Congress has long campaigned for measures to improve access to childcare, a positive change in the work culture and promoting confidence in young female workers to put themselves forward for promotion” she said.

Ms King added: “Congress wishes the Working Group success in this vital work and is available to support its task in every way that it can. This issue is of crucial importance for all stakeholders and the Group, and subsequent recommendations should reflect that.”