Pay gap between men and women in Ireland up to 14.4%

Eurostat figures show inequality in salaries in EU as high as almost 30%

Data from Eurostat, the European Union’s official statistics body, reveal women earned almost a sixth less per hour than men in 2012, up from 12.6 per cent in 2008.

The pay gap between men and women in Ireland has widened in recent years, with women earning 14.4 per cent less than men for their work, most recent figures show.

Data from Eurostat, the European Union's official statistics body, reveal women earned almost a sixth less per hour than men in 2012, up from 12.6 per cent in 2008.

On average across the EU in 2013, women earned 16.4 per cent less than men, but the gender pay gap ranged from 3.2 per cent in Slovenia to 29.9 per cent in Estonia.

Eurostat said there were various reasons for the existence and size of a gender pay gap and that they may differ strongly between member states. They include the kind of jobs held by women, the consequences of breaks in career or part-time work due to childbearing and decisions in favour of family life.


Tackling inequality

New Eurobarometer statistics also published on Thursday suggested a large majority of Irish (81 per cent) and EU (76 per cent) citizens believe that tackling inequality between women and men should be a priority for the EU.

Some 94 per cent of Irish respondents and 91 per cent of EU respondents in the survey agreed that tackling inequality between men and women was necessary to establish a fairer society.

Some 59 per cent of Irish and EU respondents said violence against women, especially sexual violence, was the area the EU should address most urgently.

Some 68 per cent of female respondents across the EU believed inequalities were widespread in their country, while 57 per cent of male respondents believed this to be the case.

Just over half of all respondents in Ireland (54 per cent) believed inequalities between men and women were widespread in the country, while the figure across the European Union was 62 per cent.

Although the figure for Ireland is lower than the EU average, it has seen the highest rise (+11 percentage points) since 2009 when it was 43 per cent.

Effective methods

When asked about the most effective ways to tackle gender inequality and increase the number of women in the labour market, Irish respondents at 52 per cent were most likely to say making childcare more accessible. The EU average was 36 per cent.

The fieldwork for the Eurobarometer survey was carried out last November and December. Some 27,801 interviews were carried out across the European Union, with 1,003 of those taking place in Ireland.