Almost Three Quarters of Ireland’s Workforce has Experienced Discrimination

Almost Three Quarters of Ireland’s Workforce has Experienced Discrimination

A new survey of Irish workers has revealed that the majority say they have been the victim of and/or have witnessed discrimination at work.

The 2023 Workplace Equality Survey, carried out by the Matrix Recruitment Group reveals that 72% of workers have had discrimination issues in their place of employment. Of those, 20% said they have personally experienced discrimination at work and 32% say they’ve witnessed it. One in five said they have both witnessed and been a victim of discrimination in the workplace.

In its sixth year, the 2023 survey of more than 1,400 adults covers a wide range of workplace issues including discrimination, racism, workplace bullying, and gender pay gaps.

Inequality in relation to pay and age at 30% are the most common forms of discrimination prevalent in the workplace according to the findings, alongside gender discrimination at 25%.

Other types of workplace discrimination experienced or witnessed by respondents include:

  • Discrimination against people with a disability at 17%
  • Discrimination based on nationality at 16%
  • Discrimination based on being a member of the traveller community at 14%

Pay transparency is important according to 92% of respondents and in relation to pay discrimination, 44% of respondents said they know a colleague of the opposite sex with the same role and responsibilities who is being paid more than them. Of those, 56% were female.

The Gender Pay Gap Information Act was implemented in Ireland in 2021 and associated regulations require employers to report their gender pay gap each year, and the measures that are being taken to eliminate or reduce the gap. Under the terms of the EU Pay Transparency Directive which came into force earlier this year, employers with 250 or more employees are required to report on their gender pay gap on an annual basis and those with 150 or more employees to report every three years.

In both the 2022 and 2023 Workplace Equality Survey, ageism in the workplace was identified as an issue by 78% of respondents. More than two thirds of those surveyed said that workers over the age of 50 have fewer promotional opportunities then their younger colleagues, a jump of 19 percentage points on last year’s findings.

More than 68% of workers surveyed said that parenthood impacts a woman’s career progression, highlighting the gender bias that prevails in the workplace.

​The sixth Matrix Workplace Equality Survey was conducted online in July 2023 among 1,419 adults working across a broad range of industries, sectors and regions.

Image by Kate Sade/Via UnSplash/



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