The Order requires large enterprises with 250 or more employees, which are engaged in certain activities, to provide information to the Central Statistics Office (the CSO) on a once-off basis for the purposes of the Gender Balance in Business Survey 2023.
The Gender Balance in Business Survey is a statutory statistical survey conducted every two years to provide information on gender representation in senior executive teams and boards of directors of large enterprises in Ireland. The CSO has carried out the Gender Balance in Business Survey on two previous occasions – in 2019 and 2021.
What information will be required?
Enterprises will have to provide the following information:
1. The number of individuals on the senior executive team on 1 January 2023 and information on each such individual (name, job title, gender, number of years employed and number of years on the team).
2. The number of individuals on the board of directors on 1 January 2023 and information on each such individual (name, gender, whether an executive or non-executive, number of years in the position).
3. Information on whether (on 1 January 2023):
there are targets for representation of individuals on the senior executive team who are of the female gender
the achievement of the targets forms part of the performance review of the individuals on the senior executive team
the targets apply by business function within the undertaking
What undertakings are in scope?
The requirement to provide information applies to undertakings which employ 250 or more persons, and which are involved in a wide range of economic activities, as set out in prescribed sections of Regulation (EC) 1893/2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities (NACE Revision 2). The economic activities caught by the Order are:
mining and quarrying
electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
transportation and storage
accommodation and food service activities
information and communication
financial and insurance activities
real estate activities
professional, scientific and technical activities
administrative and support service activities
arts, entertainment and recreation
Must I comply with the survey request?
Under Sections 26 and 27 of the Statistics Act 1993, recipients of the survey are obliged by law to complete and return the survey. Any person who fails, or refuses, to provide this information, or who knowingly provides false information may be subject to prosecution.
Gender Balance in Business Survey
The survey is a useful benchmark of the performance of large Irish enterprises in achieving gender parity in senior management and leadership roles. The 2021 survey reported some stark statistics:
One in eight (13%) Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in large enterprises in Ireland in 2021 were women.
Three in ten (30%) Senior Executives were female compared to seven in ten (70%) for male.
More than seven in ten (72%) Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) were male.
Men accounted for 86% of Board Chairpersons, down from 93% in 2019.
Almost 22% of members of Boards of Directors were female, an increase from 20% in 2019.
While the 2021 results demonstrate that the numbers are moving in the right direction, much more remains to be done and more will be required of undertakings in the coming years (such as by the EU's Gender Balance on Boards Directive). With this increased focus on gender parity, it will be interesting to see what the 2023 statistics reveal.
For more information in relation to this topic, please contact Anne O'Neill, Senior Knowledge Executive or any other member of ALG’s Corporate and M&A team.