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17th Nov 2016

The gender pay gap in Ireland has increased massively

We are now one of the worst countries worldwide for wage equality

This is appalling.

New findings suggest that the gender pay gap is now at 20% making Ireland one of the worst countries for equal pay.

The study carried out by Morgan McKinley and, has found that on average, men working in professional jobs earn €12,500 more than women when bonus and salary are taken into account.

When the two are split, the average salary gap stands at 16% while the bonus gap goes up as high as 50%.

“These are concerning findings and point to a problem which could have serious ramifications for the future”, said Karen O’Flaherty, Chief Operations Officer of Morgan McKinley.

“Greater wage transparency is going to be key going forward, companies need to start effectively addressing the issue, before they are obliged to.”

Surprisingly, the research shows that the gap actually increases along with the education level attained. For example, the gap is 10% for employees holding a BSc Degree and it actually rises to 33% for Executive MBA holders. That represents a gender pay gap of €32,500 difference annually, compared to €11,500 (22%) difference between men and women with no degree.

Financial Services has the highest pay gap of all sectors at 29% while sales jobs have the highest pay gap of all disciplines with males earning 23% greater than their female counterparts. This is because the line of work represent the employers with the highest bonuses and therefore the highest gender pay gap.

The lowest pay gaps were found in Big Data (3%), Accounting (5%), and Audit (8%).  This reflects efforts by professional services firms to ensure a greater gender balance among graduate intake.

“Overall the findings are in line with the latest report of the World Economic Forum which showed that the global gender pay gap has widened in the past four years to 59%, in spite of the improvements made in areas such as education”, Karen said.

Karen believes that there are certain actions to be taken to improve the situation.

”We have seen first-hand where employers who implement change in their recruitment processes have positively influenced the number of females progressing into male-dominated disciplines and vice versa”, she said

“Encouraging more girls to study STEM subjects will assist them to take up careers in areas like tech and engineering where the pay gap is lowest.

The availability of flexible working arrangements needs to become the norm in all organisations across every sector to ensure that females do not have to sacrifice their experience, progress and ultimately pay within an organisation that does not flex to suit their schedule and to enable men to take a shared approach to parenting and balance their role as earners.”

She also added that there was a serious need for more female role models.

  “The lack of female leaders has a knock on effect in inspiring the future female leaders”, she said.

“Mentoring groups for females have grown in momentum in recent years with the express intent of improving confidence in females to tackle issues such as career advancement, balancing career and parenthood, striving for better pay and ultimately the conviction to lead more.  A more confident and supported female workforce would have the positive effect of promoting a greater proportion of female representation at the leadership table as well as contributing to a reduction in the gender pay gap.”