CEO Update: Unlocking equality for business and society

March 01, 2024

Dear member,

This morning, Ibec had the great privilege of bringing together the only four women who have held the role of Tánaiste since the foundation of the State. Frances Fitzgerald MEP, Mary Harney, former leader of the Progressive Democrats, Mary Coughlan, Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil and Joan Burton, former Labour Party leader for an exclusive member event ahead of International Women’s Day. The conversation highlighted to me the progress that has been made for gender equality in politics and business and the distance still to travel.

A significant barrier to achieving equality is that women still are responsible for the majority of unpaid care in Ireland today. We need to better understand the changing nature of care, the future demographic challenges and the role that employers and government can play. To help address this significant economic and social challenge Ibec will be launching ‘Better Care, Better Business’ Report with Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman on Tuesday 5th March from 12.30 to 2pm. Places are limited so please register here to guarantee your attendance.

We had the opportunity to raise the issue of supporting care and carers in the workplace along with the current economic outlook and our views on importance of the UPC referendum for business at a well-attended briefing to members of the Oireachtas at Buswells on Wednesday. The session was also informed by the results of our annual CEO Survey which we published earlier this week. The full report can be accessed here.

Lastly, I want to update members on a meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum, chaired by the Tánaiste who was also joined by a number of Cabinet Ministers on Tuesday. The main item on the agenda was the impact of Government labour market policies on business costs and competitiveness. Government will shortly publish an impact assessment of these policy measures, something which Ibec has been pushing for. We also discussed some possible solutions and offset mechanisms for what has become a very material competitiveness challenge for many firms across different sectors of the economy. We look forward to publication of this important report and we remain in continuous dialogue with Government on the labour cost challenge.

As always if you have any feedback or queries please do get in touch


Danny McCoy