Progress being made for women in senior organisational roles but the coronavirus may cause a roadblock 

Scholarships to help promote women senior roles launched at UCC 

A little over two months ago research from by the 30 per cent Club reported that tangible measures have been taken by Irish business to promote gender diversity and inclusion. Data over the 2015-2018 period illustrated the progress being made. Specifically, the number of women in the lower levels of management increased from 30 to 45 per cent, the proportion at executive director level rose from 23 to 30 per cent, and at CEO level from 14 to 18 per cent. 

However, Professor Anthony McDonnell, Head of the Department of Management and Marketing at Cork University Business School, UCC notes that now is not the time for self-congratulations but a time to further focus on ensuring the progress being made continues.  

He notes that the surreal times in which we currently live due to the Covid-19 pandemic may lead to a disproportionately negative impact on females given that they tend to entail a higher proportion of part-time and precarious work and earn less than men. This may mean that their jobs are more susceptible to being lost, whilst also viewed as less valuable within households that have dual earners. 

Professor McDonnell also pointed to the recent suspension of the requirement for companies in Britain to report on their gender pay gap given the on-going Covid-19 pandemic as concerning. He states:  

This development is an early example of actions that may at least implicitly derail the positive steps that had been taken when gender pay gap reporting was introduced.” 

The Department of Management and Marketing, Cork University Business School, UCC in association with the 30 per cent Club has just announced two new full scholarships to help promote women in senior project management, human resources and leadership roles within organisations. 

These scholarships have been offered with the goal of achieving better gender balance at all levels in leading Irish businesses. The Dean of Cork University Business School, Professor Thia Hennessy, said: “Society is still not doing enough to support women in the workforce and we do not have enough females in senior business roles. This is a great concern for all in society and is something about which I am personally very concerned.  

“I am a great admirer of the work of the 30 per cent Club and we are delighted to be able to offer these scholarships at UCC and give the opportunity to aspiring female business leaders to fulfil their potential through undertaking our MSc in Human Resource Management and our MSc in Project Management.” 

The 30 per cent Club was officially launched in Ireland in January 2015 and it is now supported by the leaders of over 200 Irish businesses committed to accelerating gender balance in their organisations through their voluntary actions. It is a collaborative approach to creating change in Ireland, aiming towards 30 per cent women on boards and in executive management by 2020. 

Carol Andrews, Chair of 30% Club Ireland said: “We are delighted to partner with UCC, which joins a number of universities and business schools across Ireland to rectify the under-representation of women pursuing post-graduate management education by offering scholarships for women. Through these partnerships, we seek to build a continuum of change, highlighting the impact of executive education in accelerating career development and helping women to decide to undertake further education.” 

Professor McDonnell said: “We are very proud here at UCC to offer two 30 per cent Club Scholarships, which provide the successful applicants with full fee waivers to undertake the MSc Human Resource Management and MSc Project Management programmes at Cork University Business School. We are delighted to be able to work with the 30 per cent Club in supporting the career advancement of high performing and high potential women through offering these scholarships.” 

The MSc in Human Resource Management is offered on a one-year full-time and two-year part-time basis and designed to capture the realities of the contemporary HR profession. The programme will help all participants develop their career trajectory in the HRM field. This CIPD accredited offering is both research led and senior HR professional informed and incorporates topics such as creating healthy workplaces, analytics for business, talent management and development, psychology at work and managing the contemporary employment relationship.  

Programme participants will also partner with an organisation to conduct research on a real-life HR issue thus developing their research, consultancy, communication, analytical and problem solving skills. The programme is closely linked to the Human Resource Research Centre (HRRC) in Cork University Business School, a leading research community focused on the management of people at work that regularly hosts workshops and masterclasses for HR professionals.  

The part-time  MSc Project Management  ensures an understanding of project management in an organisational context through the emphasis on strategic alignment and the management of resources. This offering is designed to prepare its participants with a key perspectives of project and programme management and equip graduates with ethical managerial and business skills. 

The MSc Project Management programme is interactive in nature delivered through seminar and workshop formats, case studies, group and individual exercises support the development of decision-making and problem-solving skills. It is supported by academic and expert practitioners who deliver a curriculum that is relevant, current and research-informed.

There is one full scholarship available on each programme and is open to all female applicants who meet the entry requirements and have accepted a place on the respective offering.  

The deadline for submission of applications is July 10, 2020. Full details on the application process can be found at: 

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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