Irish female business leaders take less than 20% national average maternity leave - survey

New research which has looked at women’s career progression in Ireland finds that leading C-Level Executives take less than 20% of the national average maternity leave in order to preserve their careers.

Ireland’s leading female executives take a total of 9.6 weeks maternity leave throughout their career, compared to the national average of 52 weeks.

The research has shown that while there is parity in terms of salaries for men and women at C-Level, only 26% of C-Level Executives in Ireland are women.

Global Irish based Executive Search firm, Ardlinn, found that Ireland’s leading female executives take a total of 9.6 weeks maternity leave throughout their career, compared to the national average of 52 weeks.

Áine Brolly, Founder and Director of Ardlinn, said:

“I would strongly advocate an improvement in the conditions through which women, who have recently given birth can access work, and preserve career continuity. A holistic cultural change is required as a means of levelling the playing field and enabling women who wish to have families to flourish, and sustain the positions they’ve worked exceptionally hard to gain.”

Ardlinn’s research supports previous findings which show that 70% of women women who have worked tirelessly to get to leading C-Level positions fear taking a career break.

Ms Brolly added: “Moves to improve conditions for families through the extension of legislation for combined parental leave are to be welcomed. For too long, Ireland has lagged behind the European average.

"The traditional roles in Ireland are changing with a greater proportion of females now acting as the top earner within their household, and it’s time this was reflected in wider policy.

"Maternity leave should not come down entirely to the decision of protecting your career or your family’s interests. The Parental Leave Bill would provide a means of offsetting career fears, enabling a more collaborative approach for families, but it must go further to ensure a fair deal for ambitious and career driven women. Even with the proposed extension we will still fall short of the EU average.”

- Digital Desk


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