Gender divide

While research continues to demonstrate that boards with greater female representation outperform those without, women are still failing to make it to the boardroom in significant numbers. The Davos World Economic Forum made headlines in January when it announced it would require its strategic partner members, some of the largest corporations in the world, to ensure that a minimum of one in their cohort of five be a woman. The imposition of such a ‘quota’ is a reflection of the dearth of women at the head of major corporations. Internationally, women are still not making it in great enough numbers to the boardroom. In the US in 2010, representation of…

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yemen protests

As the so-called “Arab Spring” protests continue across the Middle East and North Africa, Sinead O’Carroll, has a round-up of what has happened so far today. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi’s oil chief Shokri Ghanem has defected and travelled to Italy. The head of Libya’s National Oil Corp said today he was ready to leave the regime but was not quite prepared to join the rebels yet. He said the “unbearable” violence led him to quit his job. He told reporters in Rome today that he had witnessed “daily spilling of blood”. He is one of the most senior officials to defect from Gaddafi. The strongest statement he made was that…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

At least 20 people have been killed today in Yemen as security forces opened fire on a camp in the city of Taiz but some activists are claiming the actual death toll is much higher. Reports from the ground say that the soldiers tried to clear the area with water cannons, tear gas and sound bombs but then moved in with tanks and guns. Tents used by the protestors were set on fire, according to witnesses, while others were bulldozed into the ground. Meanwhile, reports are emerging that Yemeni warplanes have attacked the town of Zinjibar, which officials say is under Al Qaeda control. President Ali Abdullah Saleh has warned…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama left Ireland last night and flew to London to begin a three-day State visit. The presidential couple had to cut their whistlestop tour of Ireland even shorter on fears that the ash cloud hovering near Irish and UK airspace could prevent them from flying this morning. The Obama’s were greeted by Queen Elizabeth II this morning. The President’s itinerary in London may not be as celebratory as that seen in Ireland as he sits down with UK Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss NATO’s actions in the Libyan conflict and, more generally, the West’s policy toward Middle East political uprisings. Cameron…

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US President Barack Obama

On the occasion of his first official visit to Ireland, US President Barack Obama addressed a packed College Green area. Here is the full transcript and video of what he said: “Hello Dublin, Hello Ireland. My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obama’s, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way. Now, some wise Irish man or woman once said that broken Irish is better than clever English. So here goes: “Tá athas orm bheith in Éireann.” I’m happy to be in Ireland with so many a chairde. I want to thank my extraordinary hosts – first of all, Taoiseach Enda Kenny…

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Bank of Ireland

A Great Step Forward for the BoI. Five directors have stepped down from the board of the Bank of Ireland , a move that brings the group closer to meeting the terms of the government’s committee and management renewal plan. Michael Noonan told Irish banks last month to clear out the board members and management that had been in place through the financial crisis. The bank said it continues to be “engaged” in the ongoing programme of change required by the Department of Finance. To highlight this, the Bank of Ireland announced the resignation of three non-executive directors and two directors from its board. It said the resignations were accepted “in the interests of facilitating further…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Japanese authorities have asked the international media to refrain from sensationalist reporting on the continuing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant. The Foreign Ministry blamed incorrect and sensationalist reporting for concerns that led to import restrictions on Japanese products. State Foreign Secretary Chiaki Takahashi said some of the reporting since the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11 has been “excessive”. He cited one story – that the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. has hired homeless people to tackle the ongoing crisis – to highlight how some erroneous reporting had been carried out. Meanwhile, at Fukushima, workers have successfully injected nitrogen into the number 1 reactor to avert…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Enda Kenny told the Dáil today that he has asked Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte to refer the Moriarty report to the Director for Public Prosecutions and to the Garda Commissioner. The damning report found that Michael Lowry, the then minister for transport, energy and communications, “without doubt” helped Denis O’Brien secure Ireland’s second mobile phone licence for his company, Esat Digifone, in 1995. Opposition has seized the opportunity to criticise the new government as six current ministers were cabinet members at the time of the bidding war. “This was a government decision. The principle of collective cabinet responsibility applies here. Of the present Government, six ministers sat around that table including the…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

There was never a more important time for this country to tap into the reservoir of goodwill represented by the US diaspora. Philippa Maister reports from Atlanta on the ongoing initiatives to encourage just this. By some estimates, there are 40 million men and women of Irish descent in the US. Now, more than ever, their ties to their distant homeland have become a strategic asset for Ireland  – one that diplomats here are actively working to exploit. It’s not a very hard sell. As Ambassador Michael Collins noted recently in Atlanta, Georgia: “There’s a reservoir of goodwill that wants to be mobilised”. Speaking to a crowded room exuding a…

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President Mary McAleese last night

In what is one of his first acts in the top position, Enda Kenny has slashed his own pay by €14,000. The new government has also decided to cut the pay of senior ministers. The Taoiseach’s pay is to be cut from €214,187 to €200,000. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s pay is cut from €197,486 to €184,405. Ministers’ pay has been reduced to €169,275 (from €181,283), while pay for Ministers of State is cut from €139,266 to €130,042. In another cost-cutting measure, Kenny has asked the Garda, the Departments of Justice and Transport, as well as the Office of Public Works, to come up with a plan to reduce the amount spent…

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