The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) has launched in Ireland with 48 founding members.

Almost 60 agents attended a dinner and drinks reception sponsored by Aer Lingus in Dublin last night to mark the occasion.

Ireland is the first region outside of the UK that the AWTE has opened a branch and has its sights set on launching in the Middle East in the future.

Ireland lags behind Europe when it comes to gender diversity with just 15% of women on boards compared with the EU average of 23%.

AWTE chair Debbee Dale said: “Exciting times for the AWTE and our new members in Ireland. Our committee in Ireland are amazing and very focused on delivering the very best development, networking and business connection opportunities to the members.”

The committee is made up of Clare Dunne, Lorraine Quinn, Fiona Foster, Niamh Waters and Yvonne Muldoon.

An AWTE Ireland website will be available from the end of the month and four events are planned for this year.