Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has criticised the lack of gender balance on a new forum to encourage entrepreneurship.
Deputy Calleary has questioned why the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has only appointed one woman to the seven person forum, when a key aim of the group is to encourage greater female entrepreneurship.
“My concern is that the forum is already failing on a key objective given the Minister’s failure to ensure a reasonable gender balance. The fact that the forum is overwhelmingly dominated by men sends the wrong message to perspective female entrepreneurs,” said Deputy Calleary.
“In reply to my questions in the Dáil this week the Minister described the seven people appointed to forum as ‘a core group of active and dynamic business people’. I am struggling to understand how he could only find one woman to fit that profile.
“I find it extremely hard to believe that the Minister could not find more than one successful business woman with the experience and energy to help drive entrepreneurship policy and show leadership to other women who wish to start their own businesses.
“As a nation we need to change our attitude towards entrepreneurship and take radical steps encourage and support start-ups. Women must play as big a role in this as men. While I welcome the establishment of the forum, I find it disappointing that it will not lead by example in putting women to the fore of entrepreneurship in Ireland.”
Senator Mary White will soon publish an extensive Fianna Fáil policy document on female entrepreneurship.