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THE directors of Ireland's top 100 companies believe that there needs to be greater diversity in boardrooms.

A survey by Irish-owned international executive search firm Harty International found 82pc of directors believed there was a boardroom gender imbalance, with 42pc favouring quotas.

Despite the openness of directors to quotas, 52pc believed it would impede securing the best person for the job.

"Female gender quotas have been the subject of much debate in recent months. However, this report highlights that they are only part of a greater diversity issue," John Harty, managing director of Harty International, said.

In total, 75pc of corporate directors in Ireland who took part in the survey felt that there was an imbalance in board member diversity.

For 57pc of those surveyed, international expertise was an issue.

A lack of variety in the age-range of a boardroom was also an issue for 55pc of the directors.

"Diversity at board level provides a basis for more informed decision-making processes, benefiting corporates overall.

"Irish boards must consider a broad range of qualities and attributes, beyond those directly related to the position, when appointing a new board member," Mr Harty said.