In Ireland gender pay gaps still generally favour men throughout their careers

In Ireland, men earn more than women in low skilled occupational groups such as general and keyboard clerks, cleaners and helpers or agricultural labourers. In building and related trade works, the gender pay gap is relatively low. Female teachers are the rare exception as they earn more than men in some tenure groups.

Women in teaching professions earn more than men in their early careers: up to 5 years 7% more and with 6 to 10 years of tenure even 17%. After 11 years of working however, the difference (6%) favours men, reaching 8% after 20 years of tenure and more. For building and related trades workers the gender wage differences are low. Even though in the beginning there is a 10% difference in favour of men, it disappears in the group with 11 to 20 years of experience. Women even earn 1% more than men after more than 20 years of experience.

The largest wage difference (32%) in favour of men has been recorded for general and keyboard clerks with up to 5 years of experience. The wage differences persist also for workers with more than 20 years of experience, at 24%. Amongst information and communications technicians the wage difference in favour of men ranges from 10 to 20%. Men in cleaning and helper occupations earn on average 18% more than women with similar work experience. In agricultural and forestry occupations men earn from 9% more with 6 to 10 years of tenure up to 26% more after 20 years of experience.

Where does the gender pay gap come from?

The gender pay gap is defined as unequal pay for work of equal value which is performed with the same skills and qualifications. This pay gap results from gender segregation attitudes and practices. These attitudes and practices reinforce the existing unequal development opportunities for men and women, as well as unjustified remuneration within occupational groups and professions. Note that the gender pay gaps portrayed below are for the analysed occupations and professions only.

Table 1. Gender pay gap for large occupational groups in Ireland based on years of work experience

Occupation Years of work experience Male Female Gender pay gap
Median gr wage €/hr Median gr wage €/hr % Difference
Teaching professionals 0-5 23.1 24.76 -7.19%
6-10 23.35 27.21 -16.53%
11-20 33.26 31.27 5.98%
More than 20 38.11 34.98 8.21%
Information and communications technicians 0-5 14.83 12.3 17.06%
6-10 21.81 17.42 20.13%
11-20 25.22 22.71 9.95%
More than 20 24.79 21.25 14.28%
General and keyboard clerks 0-5 16.84 11.49 31.77%
6-10 15.86 13.1 17.40%
11-20 19.46 16.95 12.90%
More than 20 24.37 18.51 24.05%
Building and related trades workers, excluding electricians 0-5 11.46 10.34 9.77%
6-10 12.13 11.84 2.39%
11-20 12.41 12.36 0.40%
More than 20 12.44 12.53 -0.72%
Cleaners and helpers 0-5 12.91 10.34 19.91%
6-10 13.63 12.18 10.64%
11-20 14.95 11.82 20.94%
More than 20 15.46 11.78 23.80%
Agricultural, forestry and fishery labourers 0-5 11.38 9.83 13.62%
6-10 11.64 10.59 9.02%
11-20 14.89 11.04 25.86%
More than 20 17.1 12.63 26.14%

Source: 2013-2014 European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) database

The gender pay gap was obtained through a comparison of the gender-specific gross median wages and dividing the resulting difference by the male median wage. All occupational groups in the table have at least 10 observations for both male and female respondents.

What is the WITA-Gender Pay Gap project?

With Innovative Tools Against Gender Pay Gap – WITA GPG (January 2015 - December 2016) aims to make a significant contribution in reducing the large and enduring gender pay gap. It is made possible by the European Commission PROGRESS program Action Grant nr. 4000004929. One of the activities is to compare male and female wages at the level of occupational groups and release the results for publication at the national WageIndicator websites of all 28 EU-member states and Turkey, as well as dissemination though press releases.

More information about the WITA project

More information about Gender Pay Gap in Ireland

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