The Global Leadership Forecast 2014–2015 concluded that “gender diversity in your leadership pool means greater diversity of thought, which, in turn, leads to improved problem solving and greater business benefits.” In the same study, when researchers asked leaders what would help increase their effectiveness, they answered “my organization needs to start creating more transparency, more attention to promoting women in leadership roles, and an atmosphere in which everyone has a chance to be a leader.”


The IGB annual report for 2017 has a brief profile of the 7 member executive team, 5 men and 2 ladies. On the surface this may be acceptable but when you examine detail you realise that the Head of Governance and Compliance has been missing for quite a long time. Why does the IGB not have the Head of Governance at work?

The second female member of the executive is a new appointment and the IGB must be congratulated for the appointment of Ms Mairead Cullen. According to people that have met Ms Cullen, she is an extremely energetic, dynamic, no nonsense operator with a commitment to fair play. Ms Cullen is exactly the type of personality that the IGB needs. One can only hope that her dynamism and honesty is not seen as a threat to the Old Boys Club that she is sure to encounter at the IGB.

Currently the IGB executive appears to have 5 men and just 1 lady which is not ideal.

Public Accounts Committee.

Thursday 18 May 2017

Mr. Frank Nyhan: In fairness to Ms Larkin, her position became untenable once we decided we were advertising the position of chief executive.

Repeated appearances at The PAC have been a painful experiences for the IGB as they are compelled to answer questions that they would normally just ignore. Frank Nyhan’s explanation for Geraldine Larkins removal simply did not make any sense but I am sure that he will soon have another opportunity to clarify the matter. The PAC will need to know why Geraldine was not allowed complete her contract.

According to the 2016 accounts, Geraldine Larkin was paid handsomely for her premature departure

“This sum was equivalent to salary and pension contributions to the end of the contract term in July 2017 amounting to €115,996, including a contribution of €1,000 towards legal fees,”

The fact that Geraldine had legal fees, which IGB paid, suggests that there was some level of resistance to her departure.


On the same day (18 May 2017), the IGB were also questioned about the gender imbalance on the Board, 6 men and 1 lady. Catherine Connolly TD was not impressed with the explanation she received for the absence of Rhiona Heffernan at any PAC meeting to date. I suspect that Ms Connolly will be very disappointed if Rhiona Heffernan is missing for the next IGB appearance at the PAC.

IGB has had on female CEO (and you saw what happened to her)

IGB has never had a female Chairperson.

Could the IGB benefit by having more ladies in executive positions?

Would the industry be better off if the IGB were more honest and ethical?