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gender pay gap


Minister for Equality, Charlie Flanagan has said he wants to see progress on the gender pay gap issue across all sectors of society and stated the problem is “much bigger than RTÉ.”

It's been estimated that men earn on average 14 per cent more than women in Ireland, a figure Mr Flanagan said was “too high”, adding: “I want that narrowed.”

He made the comments at the launch of a consultation process in which members of the public were invited to take part.

Employers, educational institutions, trade unions and members of the public will now have six weeks to make submissions on what can be done to tackle the situation.

The issues came under the spotlight after the BBC published a list of its highest earners, most of whom were men.

RTÉ then followed suit by revealing the pay details of its top 10 highest earners for 2015.

Only three women made the list – Miriam O'Callaghan, Marian Finucane and Claire Byrne.

Mr Flanagan said he eager to hear the public's opinion and invited RTÉ to participate in the process: "I invite RTÉ and all other stakeholders to participate in what can be an exciting endeavour as we move towards the equality agenda and narrowing the gap that I've said is far too broad."


A vegan café in Melbourne, Australia, are charging male customers an 18 per cent 'man tax' in an effort to address the gender pay gap.

Handsome Her, described as a café 'for women, by women', also offer priority seating to females and asks that those who choose to dine at the establishment respect the rules.

According to Seven News, the 18 per cent premium runs for just one week a month and is completely optional, though no one has refused to pay so far.

“If men don't want to pay it, we're not going to kick them out the door. It's just an opportunity to do some good,” says café owner, Alex O'Brien.

The proceeds from the premium go to women's services and the café plans to rotate charities four times per year.

As a self-proclaimed “feminist, not the fun kind”, Alex told Broadsheet that she hopes to start a conversation and raise awareness around the issue of the gender pay gap.

“We’re bringing it to the forefront of people's minds. I like that it is making men stop and question their privilege a little bit,” she said.

“One of my friends who works for a not-for-profit women's service was talking about the pay gap and I thought it was a good idea, so we decided that one week every month we would charge men an 18 per cent premium, which we will donate.”

The move has sparked a mixed reaction online, with some Twitter users criticising the café's “inhospitable man policy.”

But of course, many were in favour of the move. 

According to Metro.co.uk, one male customer even donated $50.00 because he love the concept so much.

August's proceeds will go to Elizabeth Morgan House, which helps Aboriginal women and children.


The Irish edition of The Sunday Times has been accused of antisemitism after it published an article suggesting that BBC presenters, Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz are well paid because they are Jewish.

The piece, written by Kevin Myers, was removed from the online version of the newspaper after it provoked huge backlash from upset readers.

However, the article still remains in the printed verison of the the newspaper across Ireland today.

The article on the row over the gender pay gap in the BBC, titled “Sorry ladies, equal pay has to be earned,” read:

“I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC – Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted – are Jewish. Good for them.

“Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity. I wonder, who are their agents? If they’re the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace.”

The outspoken columnist has also been accused of sexism after he argued that men work harder, get sick less frequently and do not get pregnant.

Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of The Sunday Times Ireland, said:

"As the editor of the Ireland edition, I take full responsibility for this error of judgement.

"This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offence to Jewish people."

The Campaign Against Anti Semitism asked for confirmation that Kevin Myers will never again work for a News UK title, and that the apology will appear in the print edition.



After RTÉ responded to speculation that there is a major gender pay gap in the national broadcasting service, now Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has weighed in on the controversy.

On Monday, The Sunday Independent revealed that Sharon Ní Bheoláin earns €60,000 – €80,000 less than her male co-anchor Bryan Dobson.

"I believe that I am well remunerated, but, for the record, my pay is still considerably less than that of Bryan’s. I won’t be commenting further," she said at the time. 

And now, Mr Varadkar's senior spokesman told the Irish Independent: "The Taoiseach welcomes RTÉ's decision to conduct a review into pay in the organisation.

"He believes strongly that there should be equal pay for equal work and equal experience.

"The Tánaiste [Frances Fitzgerald], on behalf of the Government, is currently developing proposals which would require employers to conduct a survey of pay levels within their organisation, building on the recently published Women and Girls Strategy," he added.

According to the publication, the most up-to-date figures available from RTÉ shows the average salary to be just below €60,000, but the vast majority of managers and presenters are expected to be on more than this.



RTÉ has responded to speculation that here is a major gender pay gap in the national broadcasting service.


Yesterday, The Sunday Independent revealed that Sharon Ní Bheoláin earns €60,000 – €80,000 less than her male co-anchor Bryan Dobson.


'I believe that I am well remunerated, but, for the record, my pay is still considerably less than that of Bryan’s. I won’t be commenting further,' she said at the time. 


In response, RTÉ confirmed that a review of role and gender equality across the organisation will take place, and that details of the review will be announced 'soon.' 

The national broadcaster also responded to allegations that certain staff members were receiving 'secret bonuses.' 


'In response to a story in this morning's Irish Independent, RTÉ can clarify that it has not introduced ‘secret bonuses’ to RTÉ staff.'


'RTÉ introduced a series of cuts to staff pay as part of significant reform across the organisation from 2008 – 2013 which saw a reduction in operating costs of €130 million.'


'Pay restoration – reintroduced in 2015 – is based on binding agreements negotiated by the RTÉ Trade Union Group on behalf of RTÉ staff and followed this period of cuts to staff pay. Uniquely RTÉ was the only public body to voluntarily suspend and stop increments, stopping manager increments for some 4 years.'

'As agreed with the RTÉ Trade Union Group and as communicated to RTÉ staff in 2015, pay restoration is being introduced on a phased basis: 15pc was restored on 21 December 2015; a further 42.5pc was restored on 19 December, 2016; additional tranches of 21.25pc each were restored on June 30, 2017 and on December 18, 2017.'


'Increments apply within existing salary ranges, which are below the 2009 levels. These payments are not bonuses. RTÉ confirms that managers have not received bonuses or general pay increases.'


RTÉ has also confirmed that they will be publishing the salaries of their top 10 highest earning broadcasters very soon. 

IMPACT lead organiser Linda Kelly said: 'Pay gap reporting will help us by shining a light on the source of the inequity, so often expressed in ignorable national averages, in our offices, shops, factories and care settings.'

'It will put pressure on employers, forcing them to address the issue if they want to protect their reputations in an economy where brand value is ever more important.'



Yesterday, RTÉ Six One News presenter Sharon Ní Bheoláin revealed that her co-host Bryan Dobson earns considerably more money than her.

It came after 40 BBC female presenters wrote a letter to their director asking for the gender pay gap to close, and now, it seems like RTÉ is following suit.

According to 98fm, the national broadcaster has said it will reveal its ten best paid presenters, and how much they earn.

Related image

However, no date has been set for this review, and instead RTÉ said it will be "shortly."

This morning, for the first time, it was revealed that 101 members of its staff are on a six-figure salary.

The Minister of Communications, Denis Naughten said that he wants to see more transparency.

Image result for sharon ni bheolain and bryan dobson

"RTÉ is funded primarily from the TV licence," so he believes "there is a responsibility on an organisation like RTÉ to be transparent about pay".

"It's time to publish what they pay all their staff. It is after all the public's money and the public have a right to know," added the National Union of Journalists' Bernie Ní Fhlatharta.

In the meantime, RTÉ has also promised a review on roles and gender equality.

IMPACT lead organiser Linda Kelly said: “Pay gap reporting will help us by shining a light on the source of the inequity, so often expressed in ignorable national averages, in our offices, shops, factories and care settings.

"It will put pressure on employers, forcing them to address the issue if they want to protect their reputations in an economy where brand value is ever more important."



Last week, salaries of both male and female BBC broadcasters were published, and since then a letter has been signed by more than 40 female broadcasters in an effort to close the gender pay gap.

And now, it looks like the same is happening with our own national broadcasting station.

RTÉ bosses are facing calls from its prominent female staff members to publish current salaries.

Last night, senior female broadcasters, Emma O'Kelly, Martina Fitzgerald and Sharon Ní Bheoláin called for both male and female salaries to be published in an effort to establish the difference of pay and to be more 'transparent'.

Yesterday, The Sunday Independent revealed that Sharon earns €60,000 – €80,000 less than her male co-anchor Bryan Dobson.

The news anchor told the paper: “As someone who values her privacy the very notion of sharing my salary with your newspaper is abhorrent to me.

"I do recognise, however, inequality and gender pay are key social issues in need of examination and so it would be cowardly of me not to comment.

Image result for sharon ni bheolain and bryan dobson

“I can confirm the 2014 pay disparity you reference was accurate. However, this pay gap has since narrowed. In return for a pay rise, I have also undertaken extra duties.

“I believe that I am well remunerated, but, for the record, my pay is still considerably less than that of Bryan’s. I won’t be commenting further.”

RTÉ have yet to comment on the situation it faces.



If this doesn't shake up the BBC, we don't know what will.

More than 40 female presenters, broadcasters and journalists from the BBC have all teamed up together to demand equal pay.

The professionals sent a letter regarding the gender pay gap to BBC Director-General Tony Hall, asking him to work on closing the gap immediately.

It comes after it was revealed that Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans earned more than £2 million (€2.23m) last year, while the highest paid woman was Strictly’s Claudia Winkleman who earned between £450,000-£499,999 (€500,000-€556,000).

The letter, which was created by Women's Hour host Jane Garvey, asks if Mr Hall could "sort" the gender pay gap immediately.

Jane tweeted out the letter herself, with the caption "Revolting."

The letter is as follows:

"The pay details released in the Annual report showed what many of us have suspected for many years … that women at the BBC are being paid less than men for the same work.

"Compared to many women and men, we are very well compensated and fortunate. However, this is an age of equality and the BBC is an organisation that prides itself on its values.

"You have said that you will ‘sort’ the gender pay gap by 2020, but the BBC has known about the pay disparity for years. We all want to go on the record to call upon you to act now.

"Beyond the list, there are so many other areas including production, engineering and support services and global, regional and local media where a pay gap has languished for too long.

"This is an opportunity for those of us with strong and loud voices to use them on behalf of all, and for an organisation that had to be pushed into transparency to do the right thing.

"We would be willing to meet you to discuss ways in which you can correct this disparity so that future generations of women do not face this kind of discrimination."

As of today, it has been signed by:

  • Aasmah Mir

  • Katya Adler

  • Anita Anand

  • Wendy Austin

  • Samira Ahmed

  • Clare Balding

  • Emma Barnett

  • Zeinab Badawi

  • Sue Barker

  • Fiona Bruce

  • Rachel Burden

  • Annabel Croft

  • Martine Croxall

  • Victoria Derbyshire

  • Katie Derham

  • Lyse Doucet

  • Jane Garvey

  • Joanna Gosling

  • Fi Glover

  • Carrie Gracie

  • Orla Guerin

  • Karin Giannone

  • Mishal Husain

  • Lucy Hockings

  • Geeta Guru-Murthy

  • Alex Jones

  • Kirsty Lang

  • Gabby Logan

  • Martha Kearney

  • Carolyn Quinn

  • Kasia Madera

  • Katty Kay

  • Emily Maitlis

  • Louise Minchin

  • Sarah Montague

  • Jenni Murray

  • Annita McVeigh

  • Elaine Paige

  • Sally Nugent

  • Angela Rippon

  • Ritula Shah

  • Sarah Smith

  • Kate Silverton

  • Charlotte Smith

  • Kirsty Wark



As the BBC prepare to publish the salaries of its top contributors, Director-General, Tony Hall, has warned that comparing pay “is not straightforward”.

For the first time, the broadcaster will reveal its talent list of 96 of the biggest earners – only one third of which are female.

“Is that where we want to be? No,” Hall told staff in an internal video message that has been distributed ahead of the release.

He stressed “the need to go further and faster on issues of gender and diversity,” but did say that company was “pushing….faster than any other major broadcaster”.

TV stars like Graham Norton, Gary Lineker and Fiona Bruce are all expected to have their salaries published, while leading journalists such as Andrew Marr and John Humphrys also expected to be on the list.

“You will of course draw your own conclusions …  But … comparing people’s pay is not straightforward,” Hall said.

“Very few do precisely the same thing – people working at the same show may have other – or different – commitments.”

Admitting that some salaries come in at over £150,000, Hall said “we need to employ the very best – stars, great presenters, writers, actors, correspondents.”

“We’re in a market that is now even more competitive than ever.  A decade ago it might have been just ITV or Sky or commercial radio.  But now it’s Netflix, Amazon or Apple.”

Hall has promised to have equality between the numbers of men and women appearing on air, and in the amount they are paid, by 2020.



A Labour Party gender pay gap reporting Bill will be introduced in the Senate on Wednesday next week.

A submission from the Irish Women's Council of Ireland found that on average, childless women earn 17 per cent less than men, while working mothers earn 14 per cent less than their male counterparts. 

IMPACT Trade Union has outlined a few ways why the passing of the proposed Gender Pay Gap Information Bill 2017 will be the right measure to tackle the gender pay gap

'1. Gender Pay Equality Seal of Approval: Knowing an organisation’s gender pay gap statistics will change how people look for work.

Imagine you’re a young female graduate scrolling through ads on a jobs website. In a world where pay gap reporting is the law, that jobs website could put a ‘gender pay equality badge’ beside certain employers’ names. Like a blue tick on Twitter, these little seals of approval could help navigate people through the confusing landscape that is the job hunt. 

2. Competing to Pay You Better: Peer pressure is a powerful force. If firms’ pay gaps are public knowledge, those organisations are incentivised to compete with each other in order to narrow their pay disparities and, thereby, attract and retain the best female talent.

3. Knowledge is Power: If you’re a woman on her way into a salary negotiation, knowing your employer’s gender pay gap is a really valuable piece of information. It gives you a sense of where on the ladder you’re likely to be.

4. Running With the Right Crowd: Being able to see various companies’ pay gaps will help Government make tendering decisions and help firms make choices about who to engage as suppliers. Government and companies would be able to decide not to work with firms whose pay gaps are too large. This creates additional pressure on organisations to reduce their gender pay gaps.

5. It’s Achievable: This is a realistic measure. It’s both of benefit to workers and pragmatically achievable for employers.

Any firm with more than 50 employees is likely to have some kind of payroll software. It shouldn't’t take more than a few minutes using even the most basic payroll programmes to calculate a gender pay gap. 

6. Canary in the Coalmine: The pay gap is a single, simple metric that encapsulates a lot of complexity. Like a canary in a coal mine, publishing it will help companies measure the success (or otherwise) of any other workplace policies around gender.

If the headline pay gap figure goes in the right direction, then something is working; if it doesn’t, then it’s not. The overall number will also help companies benchmark themselves against other employers over time.

7. Symbolic Gesture: Introducing gender pay gap reporting would represent an important symbolic gesture towards gender equality in Ireland at a time when we really need it. It’s important that our elected officials demonstrate a commitment to the principles of gender equality now more than ever.'

You can support the bill by sharing the message from here.



The gender pay gap is one of the very last frontiers to tackle in the pursuit for true equality between the sexes.

A submission from the Irish Women's Council of Ireland found that on average, childless women earn 17 per cent less than men, while working mothers earn 14 per cent less than their male counterparts. 

The possible existence of a pay gap between the sexes is completely unacceptable in modern society, and worker's unions SIPTU and IMPACT are calling on women to get involved with a campaign to raise awareness for the issue.  

Women are posting their 'clocked out " selfies to mark the moment that they essentially begin working for free. 

"We’re asking working women in Ireland to post a #ClockedOut selfie at 15.50 today (and every day) to mark the moment the Pay Gap kicks in," reads a Twitter post from IMPACT Trade Union.

"That is, the moment Irish women effectively stop being paid in comparison with their male colleagues."

The submission found that there are many different reasons for the gender pay gap, one being the fact that women are "disproportionately represented in the lowest paid sectors of the economy."

While over 70 per cent of senior and managerial positions are held by men, 84 per cent of caring, leisure and other services and almost 80 per cent of administrative and secretarial positions are held by women

 So, will you be snapping yourself with the hashtag?



With feminist issues hitting headlines daily, it is glaringly obvious that women are still being treated differently at work and within society in comparison to their male counterparts.

But while most women recognise the existence of a gender pay gap, not all of us have physically taken to the streets in search of change.

On Monday, Icelandic women went about countering that system by walking out of work at 2.38pm, cutting their working day by 14 percent to reflect the fact that on average women in Iceland earn 14-18 percent less than men.

Thousands of women gathered in Reykjavik’s main square after leaving their places of work. 

Many took to Twitter to document the protest with powerful videos, statements and images.


The country has a strong history of women demanding equality.  On October 24 1975, 90 percent of the country’s female citizens went on strike by refusing to work, cook or provide childcare.

Up until that point only nine women had ever won seats in Iceland’s parliament.  Five years later the country made Vigdis Finnbogadottir its – and Europe’s – first female president.

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