Over 50% of women over the age of 15 are currently in the Labour Force and women make up 46% of all those in employment. Women continue to be more likely to work on a part-time basis and almost 70% of all part-time workers are women.
Occupations in Ireland continue to be highly segregated. Women are, on average, paid less well than men, something that is referred to as the Gender Pay Gap. They are also more likely to work in work that is precarious, which is work that is uncertain, unpredictable, and risky from the point of view of the worker. Women also often work in areas that are governed by Joint Labour Committees, which are wage agreement systems that guarantee wages at levels just above the minimum wage in certain industries. Women make up almost 60% of Family Income Supplement beneficiaries.
Increased economic participation of women is a core objective of government policy. A critical question is how activation policy can assist in the national objective to increase women’s economic participation and Irish competitiveness.
NWCI regularly publishes submissions around women and employment and has conducted research into making activation work for women.