Co-ops must modernise, warns ICOS boss as new figures reveal just 2pc of directors are women
The future of the co-op movement is in jeopardy because of the lack of women and young people in decision-making positions, Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) CEO TJ Flanagan has said.
Just 10 of the 500 directors in the country's 30 largest co-ops are women, while the average age of board members is 60.
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Mr Flanagan stated that the figures put "the future sustainability of the co-operative model at risk".
"Those figures are to our shame. We have an industry which has leaders, but no disrespect to them, they have a median age of around 60.
"We have to figure out how to get people involved and challenge ourselves - and ask is the model relevant?" Mr Flanagan told the recent ICOS LeadFarm conference.
"The co-op model is only strong because of the strength of the previous generation. People got up on a rainy evening to go to a meeting in a hall or co-op office. We need to find the new guys and girls now."
Mr Flanagan also cited lack of time and lack of connection to the co-operative model as the main reasons for the shortage of young people and women on boards.
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