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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018

Irish women with MBAs earn €33,500 less than men with the same qualifications

Overall the gender pay gap for women in the workforce stands at 20%.

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NEW RESEARCH INTO the disparity between men’s and women’s salaries in Ireland has shown that the gender pay gap is wider for women with more third-level qualifications.

According to recruitment firm Morgan McKinley, there is a 10% salary gap between men and women with a bachelor’s degree, while women with a masters in business administration (MBA) stand to earn €33,500 less on average a year than a man with the same qualifications.

These pay gaps compare to an €11,500 wage disparity (22%) between men and women who both have no college degree.

“These are concerning findings and point to a problem which could have serious ramifications for the future,” said Morgan McKinley chief operations officer Karen O’Flaherty.

“Greater wage transparency is going to be key going forward, companies need to start effectively addressing the issue, before they are obliged to.”

The research also highlighted a trend that the gap between men’s and women’s wages also widens when experience in a role is factored in.

For workers with 0-5 years of experience, the pay gap stands at 12%, however, women with over 15 years in a role earn 28% less than men.

Gender pay gap Source: Morgan McKinley

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Sector specific

Looking at certain sectors, the gender pay gap is the largest in the financial services sector (29%) – an area in which bonuses often represent a large proportion of salary.

Disciplines such as accounting (5%) and audit (8%) have the lowest pay gap, which the research said was influenced by the effort made by employers to ensure greater gender balance among graduates taken on each year.

Women who make it to the position of chief executive are paid almost in-line (1%) with male CEOs.

The wage differential tips in favour of women in the HR business where they earn 15% more than men. However, this is partly caused by the fact women outnumber men three to one in HR leadership positions.

In the research, O’Flaherty noted that the findings of this report marry up with data collected by the World Economic Forum, which showed pay disparity globally is 59%.

Big picture

The research has shown that the overall gender pay gap stands at 20%, with women in the workforce earning €12,500 less annually than their male counterparts. Bonuses were taken into account for the study.

The salary gap was 16% when bonuses were not factored into the research, while the bonus gap between the sexes was 50%.

As part of the research, information was gathered from almost 5,500 people in the Irish workforce.

Gender pay gap 1 Source: Morgan McKinley

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Earlier this year a research group from the University of Limerick called on the Irish government to put in place legislation that would compel businesses to publish their gender pay gap.

The current Irish government made a commitment to address wage transparency when it included plans in the programme for government to make Irish companies with 50 or more staff complete a wage survey.

This is a method to address gender pay difference that the British government will be using from spring 2017. It will see UK employers with over 250 employees forced to publish pay data.

Written by Killian Woods and posted on

Read: The UN has chosen a new ambassador for women – but she’s not real>

Read: ‘Publishing wage data is the best way to address the gender pay gap’>

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