Five people standing outside a building holding an Ibec report on gender pay gap reporting.
From left: Dr Kara McGann, head of social policy Ibec; Gillian Harford, country executive 30% Club; Danny McCoy, CEO, Ibec; Eleanor Nash, CPO, An Post; and David Joyce, equality officer, ICTU. Image: Maxwells

Gender pay gap reporting alone will not tackle employment gaps, says Ibec

16 Nov 2022

The organisation’s head of social policy said gender pay gap reporting should be seen as ‘a starting point rather than a destination’.

With gender pay gap reporting obligations due to come into effect in Ireland next month, Ibec, the group that represents Irish businesses, has launched a document containing guidance for companies on the issue.

The guide shows employers how to interrogate their data and consider what steps they need to take to address their gender pay gap. Once the requirement to report on gender pay gaps comes into effect, Irish businesses with 250 employees or more will be obligated to share their stats.

Ibec stressed that gender pay gap reporting only indicates a gender representation gap and whether women are equally represented across an organisation. It said it does not indicate discrimination or bias within an organisation, or even an absence of equal pay for equal value work.

Ibec also maintains that gender pay gap reporting alone will not solve the structural inequalities that cause employment gaps and participation rates between genders.

Different industries are also affected in different ways by wage inequalities. For example, a recent report from Universum found that the gender pay gap in Ireland is highest among IT professionals.

It found that the overall gender pay gap across all sectors in Ireland is 16pc, with men earning an average of €54,347 per annum, while women earn an average of €45,760 per annum.

However, the gender pay gap for IT professionals in Ireland stands at €12,035.

Commenting on the publication of the guide, Ibec’s head of social policy, Dr Kara McGann, said: “It is clear that despite women making up over half the world’s population, they are not fulfilling their potential in measured economic activity, growth and competitiveness, with serious macroeconomic consequences.”

She said that effectively addressing the gender pay gap would contribute to addressing gender imbalance, explaining that “if women hold more of the lower-paid jobs in the organisation than men, the gender pay gap is usually bigger”.

“The true value of gender pay gap reporting is what actions will be taken to tackle the causes and influence change in the outcome. The gender pay gap figure should be seen as a starting point rather than a destination, and an opportunity to create a more equitable workplace for all.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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