The IRFU was given a special Culture Improvement Award at the Great Place To Work Awards ceremony in Dublin on Wednesday night.

In January the IRFU was officially certified as a ‘Great Place To Work’ for a fourth consecutive year.

The citation for the award which was accepted on behalf of the Union by Aileen Bailey (pictured above) said it was to recognise “a huge commitment to improving their workplace culture, implementing a variety of family-friendly policies like surrogacy leave and first day of school leave.”

“The IRFU understands that employees who feel secure to reach out for support regardless of personal circumstances are overall happier at work and have maintained a commendable commitment to their employees around this.”

The IRFU also recently received an Investors in Diversity Bronze Accreditation from the Irish Centre for Diversity affirming that the organisation has built a strong foundation to embed Diversity and Inclusion across the operation and is equipped for the journey of becoming more equitable and inclusive.

These are important third-party recognition of the advances which the IRFU have made particularly in terms of equality, even in the short period of time since an open letter calling out shortcomings in the approach to women’s rugby a little over a year ago.

Change does not happen overnight but it is in a much better place now and continues to set a strong pace with confirmation of measures to ensure 40 percent gender balance on leadership groups by the end of this year, in line with Government demands.