Search icon


08th Nov 2021

Men still earn significantly more money than women in Ireland

Sarah McKenna Barry

The gender pay gap currently sits at 14.4%.

Today, 8 November is Equal Pay Day, a day in which organisations signpost the need to address the gender pay gap in Ireland.

According to research commissioned by WorkEqual and conducted by Behaviour&Attitudes, the pay gap currently stands at 14.4%.

8 November specifically marks Equal Pay Day because it is the date in the calendar year where women effectively cease to earn relative to their male counterparts.

As well as calculating the pay gap, research from WorkEqual demonstrated that 74% of people believe that closing the gap is vital and should be a priority for employers and the Irish government.

A further 70% believe that the gap represents a real issue, while 16% think that it’s “political correctness” gone too far.

On top of that, 67% of those surveyed are in favour of transparency when it comes to pay, and believe that employees should have the right to know whether or not their colleagues performing the same role are receiving the same salary.

The study also gauged people’s understanding of exactly what the gender gap is.

The findings read: “Understanding of what the gender pay gap is – and what causes it – is mixed. 70% of people recognise that the gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across a workforce.

“85% equate addressing the gender pay gap with ensuring people who do the exact same job get paid the exact same salary. Only 52% believe the gender pay gap exists because women often make career decisions influenced by the need to care for children and/or other family members.”

WorkEqual’s founder Sonya Lennon said that the research shows that the Irish public are in favour of action from employers and government to close the gap.

Ms Lennon said: “The Gender Pay Gap Information Act was enacted earlier this year, which will mean large employers must report on their gender pay gaps from 2022 onwards. We are calling on employers to be really proactive about this.

“Reporting is just one small aspect of addressing the gap. It needs to be accompanied by action plans, setting out how individual workplaces will tackle their gender gaps. Although workplaces with less than 250 employees will not be covered by the Act in its initial years, we also want to see smaller employers embracing change and taking steps now to address the gender pay gap.”

The findings from the research will be presented before the WorkEqual Oireachtas All-Party Group today.