Women in Ireland earn 13.9% less than men, says EU

New legislation has come before Cabinet that would compel employers to reveal data

Former presenters of RTÉ’s Six One News  – Bryan Dobson earned more than his co-anchor  Sharon Ní Bheolain

Former presenters of RTÉ’s Six One News – Bryan Dobson earned more than his co-anchor Sharon Ní Bheolain

 

Women in the Republic earn around 13.9 per cent less than men, according to official statistics from the European Union.

The figures, which are based on data from 2014, were formulated using gross hourly earnings, and compare with a 12 per cent difference between men and women’s pay in 2012.

While often confused with equal pay, under which men and women doing the same work are expected to receive the same rate, the gender pay gap measures the difference between the earnings of all men and women across an entire organisation.

Apart from the headline figures, we currently know little about the gender pay gaps in individual companies and employers operating in the State. However, RTÉ last year commissioned Kieran Mulvey to conduct a review at the broadcaster following criticism.

Ryanair said that just eight out of 554 pilots it has in the UK are women – equivalent to just 1.4 per cent of all pilots

The gap at RTÉ was found to be substantially less than the national average at 4 per cent, although the report did not cover those who are paid through external companies and receive larger amounts from RTÉ, such as Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy.

Recent legislation in the UK compelling companies with more than 250 employees there to publish data also gives some insight, as a number of Irish companies with operations there were subject to the new law.

Ryan Tubridy was upbeat, giddy and flippant, ramping up the feelgood factor without a hint of sarcasm or scepticism.
The gap at RTÉ was found to be substantially less than the national average at 4 per cent, although the report did not cover those who are paid through external companies and receive larger amounts from RTÉ, such as Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy (above).

The figures cover only UK employees, so cannot be relied upon to give a picture of the Irish gap, but nonetheless may be indicative of the culture within those companies. The figures indicated that 78 per cent of UK firms pay men more than women on average.

Ryanair reported a 67 per cent pay gap between male and female employees at the airline. It also said that just eight out of 554 pilots it has in the UK are women – equivalent to just 1.4 per cent of all pilots. Furthermore, the airline reported that 405 of its 586 UK cabin crew are women, equivalent to 69 per cent of all crew.

Bank of Ireland, which has two units that employ more than 250 people in the UK, said the mean gender pay gap across the group as a whole stood at 35.7 per cent. This it said was primarily due to more women being in junior roles than men.

Two-thirds of companies worry that the proposed legislation requiring them to reveal their gender pay gap could be a risk to their reputations

Elsewhere, Paddy Power Betfair, which has two UK entities employing more than 250, has a 26.7 per cent gap for the group as a whole.

The Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight has recommended the Government place gender-equality goals at the heart of its budgetary plans, and that the Minister for Finance produce an annual equality budget statement each year.

A recent survey by consultants Mercer found that two-thirds of companies worry that the proposed legislation requiring them to reveal their gender pay gap could be a risk to their reputations.

A third of companies (34 per cent) said they feared their gender pay gap was worse than the Republic’s average gap. Three-quarters said they broadly supported the principle of pay-gap reporting, while two-thirds think it will have a positive impact.

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