International Women’s Day: Celebrating the Role of Women in Our Sector

Posted on
1 Mar 2019
Jayne Tennyson

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year, The Wheel will be hosting a special event, a few days earlier (on 5 March), to celebrate the role women leaders play in the community, voluntary and charity sector. 

Our event will focus on three successful female leaders who will share their personal journey with us. Each will reflect on how gender impacted their experiences and together we will examine what we can do to encourage gender balance in staff, volunteers, boards and leadership across the sector. On the panel this year we are delighted to have Aoibheann O'Brien, co-founder of FoodCloud, Mo Flynn, Chief Executive Officer of the Rehab Group and Orla O'Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland. 

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter. The aim is to open a conversation about what each of us can do to ensure gender-balance across all aspects of society, from government to the media, boardrooms to the sports field. Our three speakers will share their ideas on how we as organisations can ensure gender-balance across the sector. 

Some would say that there is a strong representation of women in the nonprofit sector. The 2017 National Guide to Pay and Benefits in Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations revealed that almost seven out of ten (68%) employees in the sector are female. However, last year the Community Foundation for Ireland published a report which found that, while males made up one-third of all managers in the sector (proportionate to the number of male employees overall), they were more likely to be working at the higher levels of management than females. The 2017 National Guide to Pay and Benefits study also found that almost half (47%) of the 249 organisations contacted had fewer than 50% female board members. These reports show that women’s representation in staffing is strong, but is not reflected in the top levels of management and on boards in the sector. 

Join the discussion on 5 March from 8:30am to 10am, for an interesting event celebrating the role of female leaders and offering a space to reflect on the potential for our sector to lead on creating a gender-balanced society.