Is Farmer Business Developments plc about to address the dearth of female representation on its board?

The Dealer understands that the matter was raised at the recent AGM of the largely farmer-owned company.

In response to questions from the floor, company chair Padraig Walshe said gender balance at board level was an issue that would be addressed over the coming year.

There are currently no female voices among the 12 apostles who keep a watching brief on operations at?the firm.

In fact, the board reads like a male who’s who of IFA and the co-operative movement.

It is comprised of three former IFA presidents, with chair Walshe joined by Joe Healy and Eddie Downey.

The co-op appointees are Edmund Lynch, Patrick Murphy, John Joe Kelleher and David Rice.

The board members appointed by shareholders are also an all-male ensemble, including as it does James Kane, Jer Bergin, Barry Donnelly, Michael Kennedy and TJ Maher.

It remains to be seen if some of the boys will be replaced to make way for the ladies, then again at this stage some board members are counting their term lengths in decades rather than years.

Gender balancing is never simple.