If you’re like me and watched the Crown back to back you will be shocked to find out that Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, as the Duke of Edinburgh, during the first two seasons of the hit $100m Netflix show.
Women in all industries are facing a struggle for pay equality. Women in the US typically earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts for full-time work.
EU figures show that in Ireland, women currently earn around 13.9% less than their male counterpart – better than the equivalent gap in the UK, where the difference is 19.5%.
According to the Irish Central Statistics Office, women are paid 14% less than men in Ireland. The figures from 2014 are based on gross hourly earnings and compare with a 12% difference between men and women’s pay in 2012. So, despite improvements in other areas of gender equality in Ireland, this gap has been growing.
However, we fare better on gender pay gaps than all of the Nordic countries. Women in Ireland are statistically better paid than those in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland and Italy are all leaders in gender pay equality according to Eurostat.
In Ireland, the Programme for Government includes a commitment to put the reduction of the gender pay gap formally on the political agenda. While the full details of what this will look like have yet to be defined, the early indicators point to the introduction of wage surveys for companies of 50 or more employees. This will hopefully be the starting point in promoting wage transparency and equality in Ireland.