In the event that all candidates for a position who are about to be interviewed are of the same gender is it necessary for there to be a “gender balance” on the interview board. E.g. if 6 females only are interviewed for a position is it in order for them to be interviewed by three females only? Is there any need in that case for a man to be on the interview board? Even if males and females have applied for a position and are about to be interviewed is it reasonable to expect an organisation that has a staff complement that is overwhelmingly female to provide a gender balance on all occasions on interview boards?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 6 May 2015
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011 (the “Acts”) operate to make discrimination (e.g. on grounds of gender) unlawful both during the employment relationship, including promotional opportunities, and during the recruitment process.

Best practice dictates that employers ensure the existence of a gender balance on interview panels whenever possible and notwithstanding that all of the applicants may be of one particular gender. The Equality Authority, in its publication “Guidelines for Employment Equality Policies in Enterprises”, states the importance of diversity of people on interview boards and that employers should strive to achieve a gender balance in this regard.

It is the case

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

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