A survey of Irish female professionals and business owners has revealed that two-thirds of working women said they need to be more confident in the workplace, with a quarter noting that men are paid more at their places of work.
The Network Ireland survey found that one in four women do not see themselves in the same job in five years time, and a fifth admit to answering emails outside of office hours. Half of company owners said that growing their bottom line, paying themselves more and employing more staff are amongst their key ambitions over the next three to five years.
Working parents, when asked what supports would make it easier in the early years, listed more affordable childcare at the top. Flexible working hours are amongst the most important attractions for women in considering a new job, followed by an increase in pay. In addition, the vast majority of females surveyed underlined the need for more women in top positions and on boards of management.
President of Network Ireland, Helen Wycherley said: “Professional women in Ireland have spoken and they want more from their employers. Flexible work, more mentoring from companies and an increase in women in senior roles are some of the key take-aways from our latest Network Ireland Survey.
Confidence is also a key element for working women – something we are acutely aware of in Network Ireland and believe that the supports we’ve put in place are helping professional women to increase their confidence and put themselves forward more to achieve their goals.
Many of our members do believe that the glass ceiling still exists in the workplace and it is only by offering support, mentoring and encouragement that we can overcome that.” Established in 1983, Network Ireland now has almost 1,200 members across fifteen branches around Ireland. Each year they organise up to 200 events for members.
They also run a number of flagship national events, including an International Women’s Day Celebration and the Annual Conference and Business Awards. The survey was conducted in July and August 2019, with over 430 respondents. Responding to the question of what companies could do to support women more in the workplace, almost half said businesses need to empower women to take on leadership roles.
One in four said companies should offer women more mentoring, while ninety per cent surveyed said women bring a different perspective to decision making than men to the workplace. When it comes to leaving business in the office, almost one in five admitted finding it very difficult to switch off.
Very few actually put on the ‘out of office’ alert on their email, and fully half admitted they could not be comfortable without their smartphone. The survey comes ahead of the Network Ireland National Conference and Awards Ceremony on the 27th of September. The conference, hosted by Sonya Lennon, is one of the biggest of its kind in Ireland for professional women with 250 delegates attending.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Step Up’ and will feature a range of national and international business people, motivational speakers and influencers.