Time to close the gender pay gap
10 January 2018
Seanad Group Leader, Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment
Ahead of today’s symposium, ‘Rising to the challenge- addressing Ireland’s gender pay gap’, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, who is speaking at the event, said:
“Today’s symposium on the gender pay gap in Ireland represents another important step on the road to equality between women and men.
“Despite significant progress over the years, women in Ireland are still on an unequal footing with men in the workplace, with a gender pay gap of around 14%.
“The tide is beginning to turn on acceptance of this however, with women in many organisations in Ireland and overseas taking a stand. For example, just this week the BBC’s China editor Carrie Gracie resigned, after finding out she was being paid less than her male counterparts.
“Here in Ireland, the Labour Party has been at the forefront of the drive to reduce gender inequality, and I am really pleased that our Gender Pay Gap Information Bill is progressing through the Oireachtas, having passed Committee stage in the Seanad last May.
“The Bill would compel companies to regularly publish wage transparency surveys, subsequently highlighting any gender-based pay discrepancies. While it’s not the only solution to eliminating gender inequality in the workplace, this measure would certainly ensure the issue stayed in the spotlight, which we have seen work in countries like Belgium that have a relatively low gender pay gap.
“I am pleased to have been engaging positively with Minister Stanton on the issue, and am delighted that he has indicated he will be bringing forward amendments to the Bill - I hope that with Government support it will become law in 2018. I greatly welcome the opportunity to speak at today’s event, when the results of the recent public consultation on the gender pay gap will also be made known.
"Whatever the results- one thing is clear. If we don’t take action now to address the gender pay gap, it could take up to 170 years before we achieve pay equality. Women have already waited long enough - in the centenary year of women’s suffrage, we need effective change now to achieve real equality."