Upcoming seminar to explore childcare provision models to support gender equality in the workplace

Irish charity WorkEqual will host an online seminar titled ‘Reimagining Childcare Provision’, on Thursday, 25th November from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm examining how the current model of childcare provision in Ireland is impacting gender equality in the workplace.

The focus of the event, with contributions from political, business, and public sector leaders, will be exploring solutions to childcare as a barrier to women entering and progressing in the workplace.

The event is taking place as part of WorkEqual’s 2021 November annual awareness campaign on gender equality in the workplace, which is sponsored by Permanent TSB and SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority.

The seminar will feature expert international guest speakers, showcasing best practices in public childcare provision from Iceland and Scotland, while a panel discussion will be examining the Irish context and how the learnings from other countries can be applied to Irish Government and employer policies.

Event Programme

The event will be chaired by broadcaster, entrepreneur, designer, and founder of WorkEqual, Sonya Lennon, and will include keynote addresses from:

  • Brynhildur Heiðar-og Ómarsdóttir Secretary-General of Icelandic Women’s Rights Association; and
  • Michele Doull, Head of Professional Learning and QA at Early Years Scotland.

There will then be a panel discussion on the Irish context, and how the lessons from our international speakers may be implemented in Ireland. The panel will include:

  • Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD;
  • Frances Byrne, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Early Childhood Ireland; and
  • Mark Paul, Business Affairs Correspondent with The Irish Times.

There will also be interviews with employees from Permanent TSB and SOLAS about their personal experiences of juggling childcare and work responsibilities, and the working arrangements which have supported their career progression, while also providing care to their families.

Commenting ahead of the seminar, founder of WorkEqual Sonya Lennon said: “This year, our annual campaign is highlighting the reforms required in the current model of childcare provision in Ireland, where we have one of the highest costs for early years care for parents in the EU, and below-average investment per child per year in early years care.

“At this event, we want to push the conversation further, beyond identifying the issues and actually look to the solutions. Iceland is often held up as the gold standard in childcare provision, while Scotland is in a transition period towards significantly increased public early years care for parents and their children, so these two perspectives will be very interesting in informing our own policies here in Ireland, both at the local and national level.”

“We look forward to learning from international experts and would urge all to register for what promises to be a very informative and inspiring discussion.


Registration for the seminar is free and now open at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/reimagining-childcare-provision-workequals-flagship-seminar-for-2021-tickets-200895753607?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch