Gender pay gap in Ireland has expanded in last five years

Gender pay gap in Ireland has expanded

in last five years Ireland ranks 25th in 2015 Women in Work Index for “female economic empowerment”

 

In 2015 Ireland had a 14.8 per cent difference in median pay between men and women compared to 8.3 per cent in 2012. Photograph: iStock

In 2015 Ireland had a 14.8 per cent difference in median pay between men and women compared to 8.3 per cent in 2012. Photograph: iStock

 

The gender pay gap between men and women in Ireland is 6.5 per cent greater than it was in 2012, according to latest figures.

The divide has shrunk slightly between 2014 and 2015 but Ireland continues to hold a ranking of 25th place on an international league table of female economic empowerment.

A report published on Tuesday shows that in 2015 Ireland had a 14.8 per cent difference in median pay between men and women.

That figure has declined steadily from 19.7 per cent in 2000. However, it hit a low of 8.3 per cent in 2012 before rising to 15.2 per cent in 2014.

The current OECD average, according to latest available figures for 2015, is 16 per cent.

The data, which focuses on female workforce participation and particularly how their roles and remunerations compare to male counterparts, is published by PwC.

Irish boardrooms have an 18 per cent female participation, compared to 22 per cent in the UK, 34 per cent in France and 16 per cent in the US.

The proportion of women in Ireland actually dipped between 2000 and 2013 (from 10 to 9 per cent) before starting to rise in 2014.

The 2015 Women in Work Index shows gradual progress toward greater “female economic empowerment” across the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Highest achievements are found in the Nordic countries (Iceland, Sweden and Norway take the top three spots in that order).

Ireland holds firm in 25th position (it held the same ranking in 2000), a low position in a 33-strong field but above European neighbours Italy, Spain and Greece.

However, Ireland is on the right track - analysis shows that, based on the current rate of convergence in the pay gap, it could be entirely closed within 20 years.

That compares to a 50 year span for most countries, including the UK, and 100 years for others including the US. Others, like Germany and Spain, lag far behind and may take up to 300 years to achieve parity.

According to PwC, the potential long term economic gains across the OECD from an increase in women in works boosts DGP by almost $6 trillion.

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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