Gender Pay Gap


The difference between the average gross earnings of female and male employees is known as the 'gender pay gap'.

In the EU, the gender pay gap is shown as a percentage of men's hourly earnings and, as it does not take into account all of the factors that contribute to the gap, such as differences in education, labour market experience, hours worked, type of job, etc., is referred to officially as the 'unadjusted gender pay gap'.

In 2007, the gender pay gap in Ireland was 17.3 per cent. According to the latest figures published by Eurostat, in 2017 the gender pay gap in Ireland was 14.4 per cent while the gender pay gap across the EU overall was 14.9 per cent. For an explanation of how this is calculated, see Eurostat’s guide to gender pay gap statistics.


Actions taken to reduce the gender pay gap


The Programme for a Partnership Government (May 2016) included commitments in respect of measures to reduce the gender pay gap, inclusive of increasing investment in childcare, reviewing the lower pay of women, gender inequality for senior appointments and seeking to promote wage transparency by requiring companies of 50 or more to complete a wage survey. Several actions targeting a reduction in the gender pay gap in Ireland, and giving effect to this commitment, are included in the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020, launched on 3 May 2017.

On 9 August 2017, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charles Flanagan TD and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, Mr David Stanton TD, launched a public consultation on tackling the gender pay gap. The consultation process concluded in October 2017 and the summary of the responses was published at a National Symposium, "Rising to the challenge - addressing Ireland's gender pay gap", on 10 January 2018. Details of the consultation process, and of the summary report, are available at the following link: Public Consultation August 2017.


European Equal Pay Day

The first European Equal Pay Day was held on 5th March 2011 to highlight the issues surrounding the persistent gender pay gap. This date was chosen to mark the number of extra days (64) women in Europe must work during 2011 to match the amount of money earned by men in 2010.  As part of the initiative, an online gender pay gap calculator was launched to help employers and employees to visualise the pay gap.

European Equal Pay Day is held each year with the date changing in line with the current GPG figure.


Related Documents

Higher Education Outcomes Graduation Years 2010-2014: Analysing graduate destinations and earnings using administrative data, CSO/HEA (2017)

EU Action Plan 2017-2019: Tackling the gender pay gap, European Commission (2017)

Historical Earnings by Gender in Ireland 1938-2015, CSO (2017)

Gender Employment Gap: challenges and solutions, Eurofound (2016)

Tailoring Organisational Practices to Achieve Gender Equality - A Best Practice Guide, GEM (2016)

Magnitude and Impact Factors of the Gender Pay Gap in EU Countries, European Commission (2016)

Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in the European Union, European Commission (2014)

Gender Pay Reviews: a template for examination of gender pay in organisations, Ibec (2013)

The Gender Wage Gap in Ireland: Evidence from the National Employment Survey 2003, ESRI (2009)

A study of the Gender Pay Gap at Sectoral Level in Ireland, Indecon (2002)


Related Links


European Commission

European Institute for Gender Equality