Joan Burton shares some of her advice, achievements and regrets.
Is there a glass ceiling?
Yes, for too many women there still is. We need a critical mass of women in politics so that the glass ceiling is shattered in its entirety rather than just cracked here and there.
Your greatest achievement?
Around the country, we have replaced the dole offices of old with new Intreo centres, which offer not just welfare payments but a range of employment supports.
Your greatest regret?
That the economic crisis has held back our ability to fund much-needed reforms but with the economy now recovering, I'm confident there will be scope for such reforms in the years ahead.
The Troika has gone home now, but we have some unfinished business with the EU and ECB – a wider deal on our bank debt.
Well-behaved women seldom make history.