The Minister for Sport Jack Chambers has warned organisations that there will be “consequences” if they do not do more to get women on to their boards.
Last year the Government announced in its Sports Action Plan that at least 40% of the members on Irish sporting organisations’ boards should be women and a deadline was set for the end of 2023.
Launching the scheme Minister Chambers said that increased representation for women was a “particular priority” for him and today he reiterated that his Department was committed to the target:
“Sporting organisations have to reflect society and their boards have to - from a leadership and a decision making perspective - they have to have the input of everybody in society to ensure they have balanced boards,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“And that’s why we’re very clear that there has to be 40% female representation at the top table.
“And I think that does have an impact; we’ve seen phenomenal growth in women’s sport over the last number of years from grassroots all the way up to Kellie Harrington, Leona McGuire, Ellen Keane and so many others and we saw the camogie and ladies’ football even in the last two weeks.
“So we want to see that momentum continue but for that to happen we need to see it in the leadership structures.”
Currently 19 governing bodies have already met the 40% criteria. However, Minister Chambers added that others still “have a way to go and that’s why we’re giving them this time period to deliver that or there’ll be consequences for the organisations that don’t.”
The Government aims to increase funding for sport from €118 million in 2018 to €220 million by 2027 and hopes that by then 60% of Irish people will be engaged in some form of sport or physical activity.
Main image: A female goalkeeper. Picture by: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile.