Ireland marks Equal Pay Day

Ireland marks Equal Pay Day

November sees countries across Europe mark Equal Pay Day – a symbolic marking of the day that women effectively stop getting paid, relative to men, due to the gender pay gap.

Ireland marks the day on November 11th, where latest figures on the gender pay gap show a 13.9% gap. It sits slightly below the average EU which is 16.2%.

The gender pay gap is according to Eurostat reports, ‘the difference in average gross hourly wage between men and women across the economy.’

Considerable differences can be seen across Europe with the gap ranging from less than 8% in Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Romania to more than 20% in Czechia, Germany, Estonia and the United Kingdom.

However, when the overall gender earnings gap is considered, in Ireland it stands at 36.8% with an EU average of 39.6%.

The overall gender earnings gap is the difference between the average annual earnings between women and men. It takes into account three types of disadvantages faced by women:

  • Lower hourly earnings
  • Working fewer hours in paid jobs
  • Lower employment rates (eg when interrupting a career to take care of children or relatives)


Equal Work Campaign

Dress for Success Dublin (DFSD) the Irish charity behind the #EqualWorkCampaign works to highlight issues around gender equality in the workplace.

Sonya Lennons, founder of DFSD said, ‘We acknowledge that the pay gap is a symptom of the wider gender opportunity gap and cultural and structural challenges that women face in the workplace. While progress is being made, change is happening slowly, and more needs to be done to challenge societal and political attitudes.’

She said, ‘Lack of affordable childcare, gender stereotyping, inflexible work options, and poor take-up of parental leave are all feeding into the persistent inequalities between women and men.’

This is the fourth time the charity has run the Equal Work campaign and Ms. Lennon said that the focus is now to ‘bring together leaders from business, politics, policymaking and civic society to develop practical solutions that will help remove these inequalities.’


The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) publishes a Gender Equality Index to measure the progress of gender equality in all member states of the EU. According to the 2019 Index, Ireland scores 71.3 out of 100 points, placing it above the EU average.

While Ireland has improved its Index scores since 2005, gender inequalities are most pronounced in the domain of power (53.4 points), reflecting the low levels of political and Board representation of women in Ireland.

The Index shows that Irish women earn over €600 less than men per month and that women’s full -time equivalent employment rate is 43.9% compared to 60% for men.

It also shows that 88.7% of Irish women are doing cooking and / or housework every day, compared with 48% of men.

Photo by Leo Marco/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Antoinette Tyrrell is a writer and journalist who started her career in print and broadcast journalism in Ireland. An English and History graduate of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, she worked for 11 years in corporate public relations for Irish Government bodies in the Foreign Direct Investment and Energy sectors.

She is the founder of GoWrite, a business writing and public relations consultancy. Her work has appeared in a range of national and international media and trade publications. She is also a traditionally published novelist of commercial fiction.

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