learn > news

Latest News

Strong laws and sanctions needed to close the Gender Pay Gap

Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On the occasion of the Government’s Gender Pay Gap Symposium, "Rising to the challenge - addressing Ireland’s gender pay gap", today, the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) called on the Government to introduce pay transparency legislation and quotas to increase the representation of women on Boards of private companies.  Urgent action is also required to address wider inequalities for women that feed into the Gender Pay Gap.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI, who will be speaking at the event, said,

“It is unacceptable that we have an increasing gender pay gap, currently at 14% and it is time for the Government to take serious actions to reduce and close the gap. NWCI members have been very clear regarding the measures that are required to close the gap and also the urgency which is required as it is no longer acceptable to indirectly discriminate against women in the workplace. We believe that we have moved beyond the stage of soft measures, and if change is to be achieved in our lifetime then we need strong commitments rooted in substantive laws and sanctions where necessary.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“NWCI is calling on the Government to introduce legislation that obliges companies to publish pay information broken down by gender and to introduce quotas to increase the representation of women on Boards of private companies. Good practice from other countries such as Norway highlight the  positive impact of quotas not only on increasing women in leadership position but on the performance of companies overall.” 

Orla O’Connor also stated,

“We must look at addressing wider inequalities for women that feed into the Gender Pay Gap, such as the high proportion of women working in low paid sectors, such as retail, childcare or the hospitality sector. Aligning the minimum wage with the living wage, and investing in affordable, accessible, quality childcare will all positively impact greater pay equality between women and men. 

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“The actions we are recommending in our action plan, No Small Change, provide a clear pathway to closing the gender pay gap in Ireland. The Symposium today is important but it must lead to real change. If we do nothing the gap will increase, women will experience further inequality and some women will be at greater risk of poverty. There is a real opportunity now to address these inequalities, the solutions are there and we need leadership from government, employers and trade unions to prioritise closing the gender pay gap."

Read NWCI’s Action Plan – No Small Change


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104.