The gender pay gap among lower income earners revealed in today’s ESRI study shows that the fight against inequality must start in the workplace, Social Democrats political director Anne-Marie McNally said today.

Ms McNally said:

“The ESRI study published today shows that the percentage of working women earning the minimum wage is more than double that of working men.  It also found that the majority of women workers on the minimum wage were in part-time work – and that a high percentage of these women said they had taken part-time work so as to be able to look after children or other people.

“These findings show that the fight against inequality must start in the workplace. It is deeply unfair that women who, because of outdated societal constructs which place the bulk of responsibility on women as carers, have to turn to part-time work in jobs that pay the minimum wage.

“We should also remember that the gender pay gap is not only as issue for lower income earners. Nationally, women earn on average 14 per cent less than their male counterparts. We saw recently the issue being highlighted at RTÉ when it emerged that Brian Dobson was being paid more than his colleague Sharon Ní Bheoláin on the Six One News for doing the same job.

“The station recently announced that Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry will be the new presenters of the Six One News from January. No doubt TV licence payers would expect that these two new anchors would not be put at any disadvantage because of their gender and that they are being treated fairly and equitably.”

ENDS

1 November 2017