Saturday 25 May 2019

Bank vows to act on gender divide

Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh
Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh

Gretchen Friemann

Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh has pledged to bridge the gender divide in the group’s senior ranks by 2021 by introducing strict new employment measures to promote women’s job prospects.

The reforms mean that within three years, all management and leadership appointments will follow a 50:50 gender ratio.

Ms McDonagh’s efforts to create more opportunities for women in the upper reaches of Bank of Ireland comes as the group disclosed a hefty pay gap between men and women in its UK operations.

New rules force organisations that employ more than 250 people in the UK to disclose the pay discrepancies between men and women.

Bank of Ireland, which has two units in the UK that must provide this data, said the mean gender pay gap across the group as a whole stood at 35.7pc.

It blamed the difference on the high numbers of women occupying junior roles.

The report shows women’s mean hourly rate is 24.6pc lower than men’s – in other words, women earn 75p for every £1 that men earn. However, Ms McDonagh is attempting to reverse this trend by promoting greater gender diversity in the bank’s upper echelons.

The shift in strategy was unveiled yesterday at the launch of the bank’s ‘Responsible Business’ report, which details its charity donations, sponsorship schemes and contributions to the Irish economy.

The fresh policy comes as Ms McDonagh also attempts to thin out the group’s senior and middle management ranks, with plans to cut 200 jobs over the next few months.

Online Editors

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