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RTÉ's highest earners: Men outnumber women by 2 to 1

A report looked into gender equality and pay at the national broadcaster.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

THERE ARE MORE than double the number of men than women earning top salaries at RTÉ, a new report into gender equality at the national broadcaster shows.

Despite this, RTÉ gets a positive review when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, with the report finding that it is ahead of the curve in terms of pay and representation than many other organisations.

RTÉ in total employs close 2,100 full-time and part-time workers. Of these, 52% (1086) are male and 48% (1003) are female.

The report itself was commissioned by RTÉ following a lot of commentary around gender and pay at the broadcaster after a significant pay disparity was found between males and females among staff at the BBC.

It finds that there is no great disparity between genders in terms of employment and pay, and that RTÉ is ahead of other public service bodies in this regard.

It also finds that the gender profile overall reflects a better distribution of male and female representation at most levels of the organisation than in other state services.

“At the level of gender and pay RTÉ is both a fair and equitable employer with good terms and conditions of employment for its employees,” the report concludes.

It equals, and in various cases exceeds, national policy objectives and targets for gender related employment, including corporate targets and objectives.

It also finds, however, that there are some disparities in gender representation in certain grades in the company.

For example in the 2RN grade – which manages the RTÉ network – there are only five females and 52 males. The report puts this down to most of the positions being traditionally male dominated – engineer, technician, etc.

It says that this is likely to change in the future with the impact of new broadcasting technologies, digitisation, and the use of artificial intelligence capabilities.

High pay

Overall across all pay grades the report finds a 4% disparity in terms in what men are earning compared to women.

This, the report finds, is significantly less than the general gender pay gap standard which is identified as 14% for the economy as a whole.

One area where the gap is much larger than this is at the top earning levels of the broadcaster.

In total, the report identifies 196 employees (10%) earning over €90,000 a year.

Of these, 68% (134) are male and 32% (62) are female – a split of over two to one.

The report finds that the disparity here needs a review and action policy in order to equalise the high disproportion of male to female earning in this area.

Other equality issues

As well as gender issues, the report also states that RTÉ should widen its recruitment practices in order to include a more diverse ethnic background.

This is in order to reflect the more cosmopolitan society that Ireland has become in recent years.

It also raises the issue of independent contractors working without full employment contracts at the broadcaster.

The report said that RTÉ had committed to undertaking a review of contractor groups supplying services to the organisation.


While the findings of the report were predominantly positive in terms of gender and pay, a number of recommendations were laid out for the broadcaster to follow:

  • RTÉ and its staff would benefit in general from a more transparent culture.
  • RTÉ and its staff would benefit from a more streamlined structure in respect of grades.
  • RTÉ should consider positive discrimination when recruiting to grades which have traditionally been occupied by one gender.
  • RTÉ needs to widen the context of its recruitment profile to include the diverse ethnic background.
  • RTÉ needs to report on these matters annually.

Commenting on the report, Dee Forbes, director-general at RTÉ, said that she welcomed the findings while also taking on board the recommendations offered.

“RTÉ is a complex organisation with legacy and historical issues, and with complicated grading structures,” she said.

“There is also a lack of diversity outside of gender, both on and off the air, coupled with restrictions, financial and otherwise, in our ability to recruit new talent.

I and the Executive team will engage seriously and quickly with the recommendations in this report.

Read: Ibrahim Halawa is going on the Late Late Show on Friday

Read: ‘I don’t think we got it because we’re women’: Caitriona Perry and Keelin Shanley on Six One jobs

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