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08th Mar 2023

Is your fella making more? How Ireland fares in the gender pay gap

Ellen Fitzpatrick

We deserve more.

When we hear the term ‘gender pay gap’, we’re forgiven for thinking it’s an American ideology; something so far-fetched it couldn’t possibly affect us here in Ireland – right?

That couldn’t be further from the truth. In modern-day Ireland, women on average are still paid less than men for the same work.

According to IBEC, the gender pay gap is the “difference in the average hourly wage of men and women across a workforce.”

This compares the pay given to all working men and women; “not just those in similar jobs, with similar working pattern or with similar competencies, qualifications or experience.”

“The results were shocking but not surprising.”

The Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 came into effect in May last year and ensured that organisations with over 250 employees must conduct gender pay disparity reports. This meant that the public could see how big or small the pay gap is in specific companies.

With many corporations and civil service organisations now having to publish this issue for all to see, the results were shocking but not surprising.

In December 2022, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform published the Gender Pay Gap Report 2022.

According to this report, on average, men are paid 5.71% higher than women. As for the median, it was found that women are paid 2% higher than men. This gap arises as a result of the number of men currently occupying senior roles.

PwC Ireland published their latest gender pay gap report in 2022 and revealed there was an average gender pay gap of less than 1% (0.9%). In 2019, this was at 5.7% between male and female pay.

Feargal O’Rourke, the managing partner with PwC Ireland, said: “At PwC we have been reporting on our gender pay gap and our related action plan and inclusion and diversity journey since 2019, being one of the first Irish businesses to do so.

“We reported ahead of legislation, based on methodology similar to the UK model as we believed this was the right thing to do. Our report demonstrates the positive impact of having been transparent about our data and the actions we are taking to foster an inclusive and gender-balanced firm.”

“Men are paid more than women in 91% of Irish entities.”

When it comes to J.P. Morgan, the pay gap is 22.40% with men making more money. At KPMG, it’s 6.9%. At TikTok and Google, both are 5%. Amazon Ireland Support Services, Amazon Data Services, the Amazon Development Centre and the Irish branch of AWS EMEA reported the mean gender pay gap to be between 4.3% and 19.7%. These all favoured men over women.

Within the Gardaí Siochana, the pay gap was 4.81% higher in favour of men.

On average, men are paid more than women in 91% of Irish entities that have released their gender pay gap reports, as of December 2022.

It’s safe to say that the issue still persists in Ireland. While many businesses like Facebook reported that there were equal men and women employed, they still reported a gap in gender equality based on pay.

The gender pay gap is not a resolved issue, it is not an issue that only exists outside of Ireland, and it is certainly an issue that impacts the livelihood of almost all women in this country.

While we are consistently seeing improvements, there is still a long way to go before this is equalised and a lot of mindsets need to be changed. Sexism in the workplace didn’t end when women were granted access to the workforce, we are still fighting for it.

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