Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Presidential Election -

What ac­tion have you taken to ad­vance women’s equal­ity that you are most proud of ? In my ca­reer to date, I have al­ways sup­ported women in lead­er­ship roles. I be­lieve men and women are equal and I have never had to ac­tively ad­vance women’s equal­ity. In my com­pa­nies, I have al­ways had a woman act­ing as my COO. For the last 10 years at Claddagh Re­sources the COO was a woman and she did a fan­tas­tic job. I hire who­ever is best for the role and never dis­crim­i­nate against women or men.

How would you ad­vance women’s rights in the role of pres­i­dent? I would cre­ate a coun­cil of ad­vis­ers to en­sure full ad­vance­ment of women’s rights. My Coun­cil of State would be made up equally of men and women, en­tirely 50/50. My first lady would work on ini­tia­tives to pro­mote women in the work­place. My wife would pro­mote causes that sup­port women na­tion­wide, the same way that men’s rights are pro­moted. Thank­fully, women’s rights are well en­shrined and pro­tected in the law and I would work to en­sure it stays this way.

Do you con­sider your­self a fem­i­nist? No, I’m not a fem­i­nist and I don’t dis­crim­i­nate by favour­ing males or fe­males. I would like to think we’re past this as a so­ci­ety and women are treated equally in Ire­land. But I am open to ex­plor­ing the mat­ter fur­ther and would hap­pily en­gage with the Women’s Coun­cil of Ire­land on suit­able means to ad­dress inequal­ity or ad­vance the aim of equal­ity for every­one in our so­ci­ety.

What woman in­spires you and why? My mother. She com­bined a suc­cess­ful ca­reer with be­ing a suc­cess­ful mother and I al­ways ad­mired her for this. She was a very giv­ing woman and taught me how to be­lieve in my­self and the im­por­tance of stand­ing by a com­mit­ment.

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