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International Womens Day

Today is International Women’s Day. To celebrate, the ILCU want to acknowledge the incredible work and contribution made by women to the credit union movement on the island of Ireland.

According to the CSO Gender Balance in Business Survey 2019, only one in nine CEOs of large enterprises in Ireland were women. Women occupied 28% of Senior Executive roles compared with 72% for men. The vast majority of Chairpersons were male at 92.6% with 7.4% being female. The overall composition of Boards of Directors was 80% male and 20% female.

Credit unions in Ireland are bucking this trend. In an analysis of a sample of 190 credit unions around the country, 45% of CEOs were female. Further analysis revealed that 40% of managers, 30% of chairs and 35% of vice-chairs were women.

This year the theme of International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. The theme signifies that women can choose to challenge gender bias. Throughout the week, the ILCU will look to highlight, how the movement, from its foundation, has been driven by gender balance and equal opportunities.

The ILCU will celebrate the countless women who are involved in the credit union movement and recognise the focal roles they play in credit unions around the island of Ireland.

“I am lucky to be working in an organisation that empowers women. My management team, again mostly made up of females, have always supported me in my personal and professional development.” – Georgie Cantwell, Youth and Marketing Officer First South Credit Union

“I think all the women I have worked with over the years in the Credit Union have inspired me in some way. They are a unique group of people and each and every one of them have impacted on the leader I have become.” – Bridget Hynes, CEO Ballyfermot Inchicore Credit Union

“It’s very much a movement that I am proud to be involved in.  I value the ethos of it, and aspire to this in my daily working life.  It’s all about giving back to the members in the community.” – Claire O’Neill, Manager Cookstown Credit Union

It was over sixty years ago that Nora Herlihy played a pivotal role in the founding of the Irish credit union movement. Women have always played an integral role in the credit union movement on the island of Ireland and will continue to challenge for more female representation.


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