Inside the incredible shipping container house in Ringsend
Inside the incredible shipping container house in Ringsend

IMAGE Interiors & Living

‘Everyone should use a topical retinol’ — dermatologist Dr Rosemary Coleman on the essential skincare routine
‘Everyone should use a topical retinol’ — dermatologist Dr Rosemary Coleman on the essential skincare...

Holly O'Neill

Life after lockdown: 5 habits to keep and 5 to ditch forever
Life after lockdown: 5 habits to keep and 5 to ditch forever

Amanda Cassidy

7 brilliantly uplifting films worth watching this weekend
7 brilliantly uplifting films worth watching this weekend

Jennifer McShane

Feeling tense stuck indoors? Doing these 4 things could help ease your stress levels
Feeling tense stuck indoors? Doing these 4 things could help ease your stress levels

Jennifer McShane

5 of our favourite funny podcasts to get you through this weird weather weekend
5 of our favourite funny podcasts to get you through this weird weather weekend

Lauren Heskin

If we’re talking about blood clots, we should be talking about the Contraceptive Pill
If we’re talking about blood clots, we should be talking about the Contraceptive Pill

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Stop denying it: the gender pay gap is real


by Colette Sexton
18th Nov 2019

Gender pay gap

blank

Gender pay gap

You might be finding it particularly hard to drag yourself out of bed to go to work these days. Not because it is cold, or raining, or dark, but because even when you battle the elements to drag yourself to work these winter mornings, you still aren’t getting paid for it — if you are a woman, that is. Since November 11th, Irish women have been working for free. You might be surprised but actually, it’s something we do every year. That’s because we have a gender pay gap in Ireland of 13.9%. If you shave 13.9% off the end of the year, you land on November 11th. So effectively, from now until the end of the year, women in Ireland are working for free. 

This might not be your experience. You might say that you have had more opportunities in your life because you are a woman, and that you make more money than any men in your life. You might claim that there is no gender pay gap, that it is a myth. But it is not a myth. The data proves you wrong.

According to the European Institute for Gender Equality 2019 Index, women’s mean monthly earnings are €2,808 in Ireland, compared to €3,423 for men. The gender pay gap is a fact and your individual experience does not discount the facts. The opportunities afforded to women in the workplace are not equal to the ones afforded to men, and that is true whether you believe it or not. 

If measures are not taken to address the gender pay gap, it will take 100 years to close it, according to The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017. 

Despite all of the evidence, many people refuse to let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. A poll from Time this year found that nearly half (46 per cent) of American men and 30 per cent of American women think that the gender pay gap “is made up to serve a political purpose” as opposed to being a “legitimate issue”. The same poll, which surveyed over 8,000 people, found that a quarter of those aged between 18 to 34 said the media’s coverage of the gender pay gap was “fake news”. 

It is very hard to solve a problem if people deny that there is a problem there in the first place — look at what climate change deniers managed to achieve for several decades. However, there is some progress and those deniers are being left where they belong in the 1950s. Gender pay gay reporting legislation is coming to Ireland, and once enacted will legally require public and private companies based here to reveal their gender pay gaps. The legislation is part of a wider trend in Europe with other countries such as Britain, France and Germany introducing similar laws. Reporting works. Recent research from the Harvard Business Review found pay gaps shrink when legislation requires companies to disclose gender pay disparities, and more women are hired and promoted to senior roles.

Of course, it is unfortunate that we have to embarrass companies into action but if that is what it takes to drag them into equality, it has to be done. And this legislation alone won’t fix the pay gap. But it is a start. The gender pay gap deniers out there can keep spinning their conspiracy theories, but the world is moving on without them. And I, for one, look forward to waking on a dreary November morning and not having to hear news reports about why Irish women are effectively working for free for the rest of the year. It will happen. The pay gap will be a relic of the past, a horror story we tell the next generation who will find it so bizarre they won’t believe us. A whole new type of denier, and a much more welcome one, because such inequality will be so alien to them, they simply will be unable to imagine it.

Photo: Unsplash 

Also Read

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES, RELATIONSHIPS
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Social media’s obsession with filtering faces is a form of self-gaslighting’

By Amanda Cassidy

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
premium HEALTH & WELLNESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost,...

By Amanda Kavanagh

Taylor Swift
EDITORIAL
I was not a fan of Taylor Swift. Then I watched her documentary

The documentary Miss Americana has shown a different side to...

By Edaein OConnell

blank
EDITORIAL
Vaccine envy: ‘Why a year of Covid has brought out the begrudgers’

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
Eclipsed: The powerful, all-female play exposing a Magdalene Laundry you need to see

‘Eclipsed’ director Kate Canning told Jennifer McShane of the challenges...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
TV presenter Kate Garraway’s husband ‘may never ‘have any kind of life’ after Covid battle

By Jennifer McShane