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Women 'effectively work for free' due to 14pc gender pay gap

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Activist Sonya Lennon

Activist Sonya Lennon

Activist Sonya Lennon

Women in Ireland are effectively working for free from today due to the current gender pay gap of 14.4pc.

That's the message from the WorkEqual campaign, which, throughout the month of November, is running a series of online events and awareness-raising activities focused on gender equality at work.

The WorkEqual campaign has run every November for the past five years.

The campaign is marking Equal Pay Day today with the release of a video featuring over 20 Oireachtas members and the Lord Mayor of Dublin speaking about gender equality.

In addition it is holding online panel discussions on gender stereotyping, flexible working, caring duties and women in leadership this month.

The Oireachtas video will be released today on WorkEqual's social media channels and will be followed by an online panel discussion on the topic of 'Why Understanding the Pay Gap is Key to Gender Equality at Work'.

Sonya Lennon, stylist and founder of the WorkEqual campaign, said: "There are multiple, complex factors that contribute to the gender pay gap. These include fewer women in senior or higher-earning roles, and more women working part-time.

"While the pay gap is a somewhat blunt tool and it must be remembered that it is a symptom of deeper issues, it is effective in proving that, across the workforce, women persistently earn less than men.

"Ireland has made progress on gender equality in recent years, but we still have a long way to go. The latest Index from the European Institute for Gender Equality gives us a score of 72.2 out of 100.

"It shows gender inequalities in Ireland are most pronounced in the domain of power, where we score only 55.8 points.

Childcare

"Our need for effective and affordable public childcare is highlighted starkly in the Index findings, which show the gender gap is much wider between women and men in couples with children than in couples without children.

The full-time equivalent employment rate for women is only 45pc, compared to 61pc for men.

"The working life of women in Ireland lasts, on average, 34 years - compared with 40 years for men.

"All this means women are not yet on an equal footing - economically, socially or politically. This needs to change."


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