Manufacturing taking steps to address gender imbalance

Ibec Medtech and Engineering, the group that represents the medtech, engineering and polymer technology industries, have said that while women continue to be under-represented in leadership, Ireland has made great strides with the level of female CEOs rising from 14% in 2015 to 19% in 2017.

The “Women in Management – the Leadership Pipeline 2017” report developed by Ibec, the 30% Club and DCU, showcases this progress and highlights gender gaps, with manufacturing lagging behind sectors such as retail and food. At a special event today on ‘The business case for women in leadership: Attracting, retaining and developing talent’ in the Medtronic Customer Innovation Centre Center Galway, industry leaders Medtronic and Boston Scientific will share their experiences and successful policies in addressing this gender imbalance.

Ibec Medtech and Engineering Executive Ciara Finlay said: “The ‘Women in Management’ report reveals 6% of manufacturing firms have female CEOs. While this is below the national level, it is closer to the global standard of 6.4% of companies having a female CEO.

“Occupational and education segregation, work life patterns and unconscious bias continue to be key challenges for improving the leadership pipeline. Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) promotion with students is key for fostering the long-term talent pipeline stemming from the shortage in the number of girls pursuing these subjects. But to make meaningful change in businesses in the short term we’ve set-up a dedicated taskforce, chaired by Medtronic Galway VP and General Manager Tony Neary.

“Ireland’s manufacturing success is built on collaboration, with FDI multinationals, and homegrown companies big and small working together. With the research showing that small organisations* perform well for females in management and CEO roles, and large organisations well for females entering management, it’s clear that events like this are important to bring these different organisations together to learn from one another.”