17 October 2020

Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality 

Leadership Meeting [Agenda]

The Assembly met for the first time online on 17 October. This meeting focused on the following topic from the Oireachtas resolution to ‘seek to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in the workplace, politics and public life.’

Please note that the information in the presentations and papers and its interpretation is based on the specialist expertise of the speakers who are independent of the Assembly and its Chair and Secretariat. 

Agenda for first online meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on how to advance gender equality.


Saturday 17 October

Members give feedback from breakout rooms

Each breakout group nominated a member to give feedback from their discussion.

A transcript of this feedback is available here, and a video can be viewed below.

Morning Session

Dr Catherine Day opened the morning session. Her remarks can be watched below.

A message from Taoiseach Micheál Martin was played for members.   

The Taoiseach’s message can be viewed below.

Lynne Cantwell – Women in Sport

Lynne Cantwell, Chair of Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport committee presented on how gender inequality manifest itself in sport & actions to address it. Her presentation was accompanied by a slideshow presentation.

Women on Air 

Women on Air prepared an animated presentation on Women in Media, which was accompanied by the text. Women on Air also provided a paper on The Missing Perspectives of women in COVID-19 News.

Afternoon Session

Dr Catherine Day introduced the afternoon session

Her remarks can be viewed below.

The citizens then moved into their breakout groups to discuss the topic of leadership in public life and the workplace.

As well as the previous videos citizens had watched the following videos to prepare for their discussions.

Dr Fiona Buckley, UCC – Women’s experience running for election in Ireland.

Dr Fiona Buckley presented on Women’s experience running for election in Ireland which was accompanied by a slideshow presentation.

Citizens also received a summary paper prepared by the Secretariat.

Advocacy Panel: Leadership initiatives & suggested recommendations  

A video of this discussion can be viewed below.

A paper submitted by each speaker can be accessed by clicking on their name. 

  • Sinead Gibney – Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission
  • Gary Kennedy – 30% Club and Better Balance for Better Business
  • Alison Cowzer  – Women for Election
  • Moderated by Larry O’Connell – The National Economic and Social Council
Advocacy Panel: Leadership case studies & suggested recommendations 

A video of this discussion can be viewed below.

A paper submitted by each speaker can be accessed by clicking on their name. 

  • Lian Bell – Waking the feminists
  • Maria Joyce – National Traveller Women’s Forum Ireland
  • Julie Sinnamon – Enterprise Ireland
  •  Moderated by Brian MacCraith – Former President of Dublin City University
Dr Lenita Freidenvall – Gender Balance in Elected Office in Europe

Dr Lenita Freidenvall presented on Gender Balance in Elected Office in Europe which was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. A script is also available here.

Professor Yvonne Galligan – Presentation on Gender Equality, Leadership and Politics 

Professor Yvonne Galligan presented on Gender Equality, Leadership and Politics which was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. A script is also available here. Professor Galligan also provided papers on Ireland’s 2020 General Election & Women in Politics which were co-authored with Dr. Fiona Buckley and  Women in Politics since 1918 & Women in Politics 1995 – 2020.

Dr Pauline Cullen – Analysis of the Leadership Submissions to the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality.

Dr. Pauline Cullen presented on the Leadership Submissions received by the Citizens’ Assembly.  Her video presentation was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. To download the contents of the summary table on Public Life and Leadership, click here.

A specially commissioned video on Women Leaders’ perspectives on leadership was played for members.

Women’s leadership perspectives video can be watched below.

Male Champions of Change video – Men and Women need to work together on Gender Equality

This video can be watched back below.

Citizens also received a summary paper prepared by the Secretariat.

The citizens then returned from their breakout groups for the closing session.

Dr Catherine Day closes the leadership meeting

The Chair’s closing remarks can be viewed below.

Additional questions responded to by speakers

Click here to view additional questions responded to by speakers.

Below are responses provided by speakers to members questions.