Wednesday 13 November 2019

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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

Women still hugely under-represented on boards

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 4:30pm

A top business academic has this week expressed her “great concern” about the under-representation of women in senior business roles in Ireland.

The Dean of Cork University Business School (CUBS), Professor Thia Hennessy said it’s important for society that more women are in top roles.

In response, the Department of Management and Marketing, CUBS, UCC in association with the 30% Club has established a new scholarship to help promote women in senior project management and leadership roles within companies and organisations.

Female representation on company boards in Ireland is currently at 16 per cent. Research shows when there are fewer females on company boards, the gender pay gap in organisations was greater by up to 50 per cent, according to Professor Carol Kulik, of the University of South Australia, who spoke at CUBS recently.

The scholarship was launched to achieve better gender balance at all levels in leading Irish businesses. The 30% Club supports scholarship programmes in leading third level institutions across Ireland.

Professor Thia Hennessy said: “The under-representation of women in senior business roles is a great concern for all in society and is something about which I am personally very concerned. I am a great admirer of the work of the 30% Club and so I am especially delighted to launch this scholarship and give the opportunity to an aspiring female business leader to fulfil her potential through our MSc in Project Management.”

Head of the Department of Management and Marketing, Anthony McConnell said: “The percentage of women in the most senior organisational roles continues to be below what it should be in Ireland. We are delighted to be able to work with the 30% Club in supporting the career advancement of high performing and high potential women through offering this scholarship.”

The course is designed to prepare its participants with a broad perspective of project and programme management and equip graduates with ethical managerial and business skills. The MSc Project Management ensures an understanding of project management in an organisational context through the emphasis on strategic alignment and the management of resources.

The part-time programme is comprised of interactive seminar and workshop formats, case studies, while group and individual exercises support the development of decision-making and problem-solving skills. It is supported by academic and expert practitioners who deliver a curriculum that is relevant, current and research-informed.

The 30% Club was officially launched in Ireland in January 2015 and it is now supported by the leaders of over 200 Irish businesses committed to accelerating gender balance in their organisations through their voluntary actions. It is a collaborative approach to creating change in Ireland, aiming towards 30 per cent women on boards and in executive management by 2020.

Carol Andrews, Chair of 30% Club Ireland said: “We are delighted to partner with UCC to rectify the under-representation of women pursuing post-graduate management education by offering scholarships for women. Through these partnerships, we seek to build a continuum of change, highlighting the impact of executive education in accelerating career development and helping women to decide to undertake further education.”

The scholarship is open to all female applicants who meet the entry requirements and have accepted a place on the MSc Project Management and submit a specific scholarship application to the programme director.

The deadline for submission of applications is 12 July. People can apply at

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