Just 21% of senior business roles in Ireland are held by women, new research shows today.
Marking International Woman's Day, new Grant Thornton research shows that the numbers of women in senior management is actually down slightly on 2009 levels.
The research shows that the average level of representation around the world was 24%, with Ireland 36th out of 44 countries and just ahead of the US and UK.
The Grant Thornton study also shows that 7% of Irish firms plan to promote more women into senior management roles over the next year, while 17% of board directors on Irish firms are women.
On flexible working, Ireland is the lowest ranked EU country apart from Greece. 53% of companies here offer family friendly working solutions compared to an EU average of 74%.
Grant Thornton's Sinead Donovan said the disappointing picture may be explained by the weakness of the Irish economy, which has given little room for career progress and so has allowed the status quo to continue.
She also said that despite the lack of progress, only 37% of companies would support the introduction of quotas on the number of women on the boards of listing companies.
''There is widespread opposition to quotas which I think is understandable given that successful professional women in Ireland want a promotion because they are the best for the job, rather than a leg-up via legislation,'' she added.
France wants more dads to take time off for babies
France's president is proposing legislation to get more dads on paternity leave and mothers back to work faster.
Francois Hollande, a father of four, also wants more state aid for single parents whose partners fail to pay child support.
Hollande linked the proposals to International Women's Day on Friday. He has made a point of promoting women's rights, naming an equal rights minister and making half of his Cabinet female.
His proposed parental leave law would allow fathers to take up to six months of paid leave after the birth of a child and extend other long-term parental leave benefits to fathers.
While most French mothers work, their salaries, pensions and career prospects can suffer from taking long maternity leave.