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More women in leadership roles at companies that measure ED&I, report

A report by Business in the Community found that representation of women in leadership roles at companies committed to diversity and inclusion was higher than the national average.

A report by national non-profit network Business in the Community (BITCI) has found that female representation at senior executive level roles was higher than the national average among companies that had committed to improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Last May, almost 50 companies signed a pledge called the Elevate pledge by BITCI which called for employers to commit to greater diversity and inclusion.

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A year on from the signing of the pledge, BITCI has released its first Elevate report which details the progress the pledge’s signatory companies have made regarding diversity and inclusion.

The report was formed by a study of 50 businesses and 120,000 employees. The Elevate pledge included commitments to measures such as gender pay gap analyses and disability confidence training.

The companies also agreed to measure their inclusivity and diversity in the workplace across gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

Among the signatories, there was 38pc female representation at senior executive roles, compared with a national average of 30pc.

Data disclosure on the areas of gender and age were good, however, other areas such as ethnicity and disability were poor, according to the report’s authors.

The authors acknowledged that the companies’ progress in the area of ​​gender was due to the companies implementing diversity and inclusion programs for women. Gender diversity is a common starting point for these policies.

There are 18 companies where the percentage of women at senior management level is at least 5pc points ahead of those at next level executive/C suite. The study also said that women filled 30pc of top earning posts (€120,000 and upwards).

However, women are also disproportionately over-represented in the lowest salary bands (less than €26,000).

They recommended that age-related policies be put in place to make workplaces more suitable for Ireland’s ageing workforce.

Just 1pc of the Elevate workforce of 120,00 were aged 65 or over with 84pc aged between 26 and 65.

The report stated: “We know the Irish workforce is ageing. Estimates from the CSO indicate there will be about 1.5m people aged over 65 in Ireland by 2051 (in 2016 the figure was just under 630,000 people). Also, with the qualifying age for the old age pension likely to be pushed out, people are going to be in the workplace longer. Having an understanding of the age profile of the workforce and developing strategies to mitigate risks is going to become increasingly important for employers.”

BITCI also said it was adding to its portfolio of employment programs supporting marginalised people into employment by launching its new Traveler programme, funded by The Community Foundation for Ireland.

The Elevate report was compiled by BITCI with support from Deloitte Ireland, one of the companies that signed the pledge. Other signatories include Accenture, Aldi, BT Ireland, Cork Chamber, Dublin Bus, EirGrid, Iarnród ireann, IBM Ireland, Janssen, Lidl Ireland, Marks & Spencer Ireland, Permanent TSB, PwC and Sodexo.

Tomás Sercovich, CEO, BITCI, said: “While the study is representative of just 50 companies involving 120,000 employees, it points to good news in the increasing representation of women at senior management level. This is real change and one that we hope will be replicated in the other areas which the Elevate report will capture in succeeding years.”

Harry Goddard, CEO, Deloitte Ireland and social inclusion sub-group co-chair said that world events had forced the business community to think more deeply about what it values ​​as a society.

“We’re proud to be part of the first Elevate Pledge report, making a commitment to clear and measurable targets to improve inclusion, holding ourselves accountable and continuing to make an impact where it matters the most,” he added.

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