Why Care about Childcare

9th November 2022

Posted In: FYI

How childcare in Ireland can be reimagined, and whether it is the key to unlocking gender equality in the workplace will be the focus of an upcoming event, run by national charity, WorkEqual and supported by Permanent TSB and SOLAS. ‘Why Care about Childcare’ will take place at Smock Alley Theatre on 21st November 2022 and will feature a range of voices from business, sport, politics, the media and the arts, sharing their experience and vision of what childcare in Ireland should be.

Taking place on Equal Pay Day – the date on which women in Ireland effectively stop earning, relative to men, because of the gender pay gap – the event is part of WorkEqual’s annual campaign, which aims to raise awareness of workplace gender inequalities and related issues – and develop solutions to address these.

Event line-up 

The event will be hosted by the founder of WorkEqual, Sonya Lennon and the CEO of WorkEqual, Angela Smith. Speakers announced so far include:

•Peter Stringer, Former Ireland and Munster Rugby Player

•Ivana Bacik, TD, Labour Party Leader, Chair of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Gender Equality, and Co-Chair of the All-Party Oireachtas Group on Workplace Equality

•Rebecca McAllister, breast-feeding advisor and lactation consultant

•Emer Currie, Senator and Co-Chair of the All-Party Oireachtas Group on Workplace Equality

•Ellen Coyne, News Correspondent at the Irish Independent and author of ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Ellen’

•Frances Byrne, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigning at Early Childhood Ireland

•Jen Hogan, Journalist and Columnist at the Irish Times, and author of ‘The Real Mum’s Guide to (Surviving) Parenthood’

The event will also feature break-out sessions facilitated by representatives from Permanent TSB and SOLAS, sponsors of WorkEqual.

Launching the 2022 campaign, WorkEqual founder, Sonya Lennon said: “As part of our campaign this year, we are putting the spotlight on one of the biggest obstacles to gender equality in the workplace – childcare.

The lack of sustainable, flexible and affordable childcare is recognised as a barrier to women entering and re-entering the paid workforce.

At our upcoming event, we will be providing a soapbox for a variety of different voices to tell us what their experience of childcare is, and how they think it needs to be reformed to improve the participation of women in the workforce.

“WorkEqual recently travelled to Reykjavik in Iceland as part of a study tour to hear from members of parliament, trade union representatives, and civil society on how they have become the most gender-equal country. From all of our encounters there – including a meeting with the Prime Minister – it became very evident that

accessible childcare and shared parental leave are the two key policy areas that had the most profound impact on making real progress on gender equality in the country.

We’re looking forward to presenting some of these findings at the upcoming event, and hearing some new perspectives on how we can make progress in this area in Ireland.”

Further information is available here>>

Pictured at the event launch are  Angela Smith, CEO of WorkEqual; Karen Hackett, Head of People Experience at Permanent TSB, Andrew Brownlee, CEO of SOLAS and Sonya Lennon, founder of WorkEqual. (Image Marc O’Sullivan).