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.