Ireland ranks 5th when it comes to closing the gender gap

New study shows women now being paid what men were back in 2006

Ireland has ranked fifth out of 145 countries in terms of closing the gender gap, according to a new report published on Thursday.

Research from the World Economic Forum shows that, globally, women's pay still ranks behind that of men, with women now being paid what men were paid in 2006 when the Global Gender Gap Report was first published. Extrapolating this trajectory suggests that it would take the world another 118 years – or until 2133 – to close the economic gap entirely.

Ireland ranked as the highest-placed non-Nordic country in the list, behind Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Britain ranked 18 out of 145 in terms of the provision of equal pay to women, with Germany at 11, France at 15 and the United States at 28.

Ireland’s move to fifth place sees it climb three places since 2014 when it was ranked 8th out of 142 countries, having slipped from sixth place in 2013 and fifth in 2012.


The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap by focusing on four main areas - economic participation including salaries and leadership, access to education, representation in politics and life expectancy and health. Ireland scored best in politics, ranking 6 out of 145. It slipped to 26th place in terms of economic participation, 44th in education, and 56th in health.

Overall, the research found that the average full-time salary for working women is $11,102 a year (€10,400) - approximately half the male average of $20,554 (€19,222).

"More women than men are enrolled in universities in nearly 100 countries but women hold the majority of senior roles in only a handful of countries," said the World Economic Forum's Saadia Zahidi. "Companies and governments need to implement new policies to prevent this continued loss of talent and instead leverage it for boosting growth and competitiveness."

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent