Highly educated women in Ireland reduce their gender pay gap

Working women in managerial positions, as well as in the scientific and engineering professions in Ireland face considerably smaller gender pay gaps than those working in menial and supporting jobs. This may be concluded from a national comparison of ten large occupational groups. Thus amongst Chief executives, senior officials, legislators, science and engineering professionals women on average earn 8-11% less than their male colleagues. In the Building and related trades professions (excluding electricians), and even as stationary plant and machine operators they are faced with a gender pay gap of 6% only, a narrow margin as compared to prevailing patterns across the EU as a whole. Female Protective service workers in Ireland on average even make 10% more than their male counterparts.

pay gaps to the detriment of women remain among the Customer service and personal service workers with a 37% difference and the science, engineering associate and Health associate professionals with 35% difference, as well as in business administration, cleaning, agriculture and fisheries where the gaps are only slightly smaller. So it seems that only the higher educated working women start to attain male pay levels in Ireland.

A national average, compiled with 2013 data by Eurostat, indicates a gender pay gap of 14.4%. These figures combined suggest that there is a need for targeted policies aimed at reducing persistent gender pay gaps in particular professional groups and sectors, where women perfom work of equal value at skill levels comparable to men, yet are paid less.

Where does the gender pay gap come from?

The gender pay gap is defined as unequal pay for work of equal value which is performed with the same skills and qualifications. This pay gap results from gender segregation attitudes and practices. These attitudes and practices reinforce the existing unequal development opportunities for men and women, as well as unjustified remuneration within occupational groups and professions. Note that the gender pay gaps portrayed below are for the analysed occupations and professions only.

Table 1. Gender pay gap for large occupational groups in Ireland

Occupation Male Female Total Gender pay gap
  Median gr wage €/hr Median gr wage €/hr Median gr wage €/hr % Difference
Chief executives, senior officials and legislators 28.57 25.43 27 11%
Science and engineering professionals 28.57 26.31 27.44 8%
Business and administration professionals 27.93 19.92 23.93 29%
Science, engineering associate and health associate professionals 21.31 13.95 17.63 35%
Information and communications technicians 27.62 21.76 24.69 21%
Customer services and personal service workers 16.7 10.59 13.64 37%
Protective services workers 12.74 13.96 13.35 -10%
Building and related trades workers (excluding electricians), Stationary plant and machine operators 13.83 12.94 13.38 6%
Cleaners and helpers 15.33 11.64 13.48 24%
Agricultural, forestry and fishery labourers 16.79 11.44 14.11 32%

Source: EU SILC 2013 Dataset

The gender pay gap was obtained through a comparison of the gender-specific gross median wages and dividing the resulting difference by the male median wage. All occupational groups in the table have at least 10 observations for both male and female respondents.

What is the WITA-Gender Pay Gap project?

With Innovative Tools Against Gender Pay Gap – WITA GPG (January 2015 - December 2016) aims to make a significant contribution in reducing the large and enduring gender pay gap. It is made possible by the European Commission PROGRESS program Action Grant nr. 4000004929. One of the activities is to compare male and female wages at the level of occupational groups and release the results for publication at the national WageIndicator websites of all 28 EU-member states and Turkey, as well as dissemination though press releases.

More information about the WITA project

More information about Gender Pay Gap in Ireland at Mywage.irg/Ireland


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