New research shows that 89% of Irish businesswomen believe the introduction of new mandatory gender pay gap reporting in Ireland will help improve gender equality in the workplace.
The survey from global valuation and corporate finance advisor Duff & Phelps shows that 46% of all respondents believe that there has been no improvement in workplace gender equality over the last year.
It also revealed the preferred measures which could be taken by both Government and Irish businesses alike to promote greater workplace gender diversity.
Survey participants believe that Government should make improvements in relation to subsidised childcare (80%), followed closely by shared paternity leave (76%).
Businesses also have a role to play, with family-friendly and flexible working policies identified by 82% of businesswomen as the most important measure to achieving greater gender equality.
This is closely followed by women in leadership programmes (78%) and high-profile female role models (78%).
The proposed legislation will require certain employers to publish information relating to the pay rates with a view to establishing whether there are differences in the pay of male and female employees.
It is envisioned that increased pay transparency will, over time, improve fairness in the workplace.
There are currently two bills under review – the Government Bill which would require all organisations with more than 250 employees to publish information, and the Private Member's Bill, which would require organisations with over 50 employees to publish information.
73% of Irish businesswomen that took part in the research felt that the Private Members Bill was the better legislation.
Ciara O'Sullivan, a director at Duff & Phelps said, that while we are starting to see improved signs of gender equality in the workplace, there is clearly still a lot of work to be done.
"There is a clear thumbs up for gender pay legislation, with our research showing that there's a demand for more organisations to be covered by the legislation.
"Ultimately there needs to be action taken to bring about more balance with various recommendations coming through the survey like shared paternity leave and family friendly working policies.
"Although there is a lot more to do, the conversation has started, and Ireland is moving in the right direction," Ms O'Sullivan added.