The gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of men and women across a workforce. It compares the pay of all working men and women; not just those in similar jobs, with similar working pattern or with similar competencies, qualifications or experience. In Ireland, the government plans to introduce legislation for mandatory gender pay gap reporting for business. This will oblige businesses to publish statutory calculations each year showing the extent of the pay gap between what women earn as a group and what men earn as a group.
Gender pay gap reporting is one part of a much-needed wider strategy to address female participation rates and employment gaps between genders. It will not on its own identify or solve the myriad of structural, cultural and policy causes for these differences, but it is a critical and welcome element.
While women make up over half the world’s population, it remains the case they are not fulfilling their potential in measured economic activity or in their contribution to the labour market. This has clear social and economic consequences, and business has an important role to play in finding solutions.
Ibec is working with business, government and other stakeholders to develop and shape an effective and appropriate method of gender pay gap reporting. The aim of this publication is to introduce the issue, explain the gender pay gap, what causes it and how it can be addressed. It also provides an update on the current state of play in Ireland and looks at what we can learn from the UK experience.