Why do women receive lower wages in Ireland

  1. Discrimination in the workplace  

Women and men may not be paid the same wages even though they do the same work due to illegal discrimination. 

  1. Lack of enforcement by State agencies 

State agencies do not enforce the existing legislation or take legal action against offenders.  

  1. Balancing work and family responsibilities  

Women work shorter hours and often part-time to combine family responsibilities and paid work. Career progression can be interrupted by maternity leave.  

  1. Glass ceiling’/fewer women in senior and leadership positions 

Women are under-represented in most senior positions, in politics and in certain sectors within the economy such as on boards of management.  

  1. Different jobs, different sectors 

Women and men carry out different jobs and often work in different sectors. In health and social work women make up 80% of workers. 

How can governments close gender pay gap

  1. Awareness – raising Campaign  

Governments could put in place measures to raise awareness on gender equality and company good practice. A widespread advertising campaign during ‘European Equal Pay Day’ might raise awareness of the gender pay gap and initiate change. 

  1. Labour Inspections / Name and shame the offenders 

Labour inspectors could be trained to carry out inspections on equal pay violations and publish names of offenders. 

  1. Audits by companies 

Gender equality plans and audits enable companies to measure their progress in implementing gender equality and equal pay. 

  1. Make pay systems transparent 

Transparent pay systems are very important in implementing equal pay e.g. software to help companies analyse pay and staffing structures and verify if equal pay exists. 

  1. Gender Equality Studies 

A government could implement studies into the issue and take action to implement strategies to close the gender pay gap.