Women paid 20pc less than men in Ireland, according to study

17 Nov 2016

Gender pay gap. Image: Greg Brave/Shutterstock

The latest look into salary disparity between genders has found a 20pc gap between what women and men earn in Ireland.

Do you work in a job that pays bonuses? If the answer is yes, there’s a decent chance that men are earning 20pc more than women in your company. If the answer is no, there’s a decent chance that men are earning 16pc more than women in your company.

That’s according to a new report from Morgan McKinley, which found women professionals earn, on average, €12,500 a year less than their counterparts.

gender pay gap

Morgan McKinley worked with Emolument, a salary benchmarking company, and surveyed 5,500 professionals working in Ireland.

Beyond the clear finding of general disparity, the report also revealed that the higher the education of the professional, the bigger a gap to peers.

While the gap is 10pc for employees holding a BSc Degree, it rises to 33pc for holders of MBAs. That represents a gender pay gap of €32,500 difference annually, compared to an €11,500 (22pc) difference between men and women with no degree.

It is perhaps important to note the average salary figures featured in the report:

Gender pay gap

Gender pay gap figures featured in Gender Pay Gap: Ireland 2016, a report by Morgan McKinley and Emolument. Image: Morgan McKinley

Thinking hats

The pursuit of greater education, so, does nothing to reduce the margins. Experience, too, only sees the gap widen. Women with 0-5 years of experience see a 12pc margin, rising up to 28pc for those with over 15 years’ experience.

“These are concerning findings and point to a problem which could have serious ramifications for the future,” said Karen O’Flaherty, COO of Morgan McKinley. “Greater wage transparency is going to be key going forward; companies need to start effectively addressing the issue, before they are obliged to.”

Bonuses skew the figures to a pretty extreme margin, with financial services (29pc of a pay gap) as the sector at the high end of disparity, and also the area where bonus options are often at their more prominent.

Another bonus-heavy sector is sales, which is where the second-biggest disparity on the report (23pc) was found.

In technology, the pay gaps were the smallest in the report, with big data (3pc), accounting (5pc) and audit (8pc) helping the general tech and telecoms industry reach a 7pc gap overall.

Widened gap

“Overall, the findings are in line with the latest report of the World Economic Forum which showed that the global gender pay gap has widened in the past four years to 59pc, in spite of the improvements made in areas such as education,” said O’Flaherty.

“The most surprising aspect of the findings of our research is that it would appear that the higher their educational attainment and the more experience they have, women find themselves being paid even less than their male counterparts.

“This is a very serious issue for the woman affected and for society as a whole. It can only harm our prospects for future economic growth if it is not addressed urgently,” warned O’Flaherty.

At the very top, pay gaps are negligible. In C-level roles, the gap is just 1pc; though of those roles surveyed in the report, less than one-quarter were filled by women.

In HR, an area where female management has historically proved more prominent, women HR leaders are paid 15pc more than males.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic