The Gender Pay Gap

Posted on 29 Oct 2020 Last updated on 9 Nov 2020

A significant gender pay gap persists in the community and voluntary sector, despite the majority of its workers being women.

  • Two-thirds (69%) of the sector's employees are women¹
  • The vast majority (92%) of the bottom 10% of earners in the sector are women²
  • Men are disproportionately over-represented at the higher levels of management, and in larger organisations with higher income levels³

This gap is not unique to the sector, but pervades society as a whole. In 2019, the Government enacted the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill, which would:

"require certain employers to publish information relating to the remuneration of their employees by reference to the gender of such employees for the purpose of showing whether there are differences in such remuneration referable to gender and, if there are such differences, the size of such differences and to require such employers to publish statements setting out the reasons for such differences and the measures (if any) taken, or proposed to be taken, by those employers to eliminate or reduce such differences."

Within 3 years of its introduction, all organisations with 50 or more employees will be required to provide information on gender and remuneration, as well as information on steps taken to tackle their pay gap.

The average gender pay gap in Europe is estimated at 14.8%, and in Ireland it stands at 14.4%. With this acknowledged, the question remains: what next?

What are we working on?

Gender Pay Gap Report

With the support of the Community Foundation for Ireland, The Wheel has launched two editions of the Gender Pay Gap Report for Ireland’s Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector — the first based on data from the National Pay and Benefits Survey for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in 2017, and the latest from 2019.

Some of the most recent report's key findings include:

  • The overall average gender pay gap for management grades is 15.2% (with a median of 16.7%), where women are paid 85% of what men are overall.
  • These figures are an improvement on 2017, when they stood at 16.7% and 20.8%, respectively. 
  • The gender pay gap appears highest at the most senior management level, at 13.4% (median of 12.7%) for heads of organisations.
  • In terms of upper quartile earners (i.e. those with pay rates equal to or above the top 25% of earners in their role), men are in the majority in all top-level jobs. For example, some 51% of upper-quartile Chief Executives earners are men, compared to 49% that are women.
  • The highest average gender pay gap among chief executives is to be found in organisations with a low income level (10.6%); in the Advocacy, Law and Politics sector (30.0%); in arts, culture, and heritage (22.0%); in the Social Services sector (20.0%); and in International Development (15.2%).

Read the Latest Report


Steering Group Representation

The Wheel represents the sector on the steering group for the National Women and Girls Strategy. 

The Wheel is committed to pursuing the topic of gender and pay equality, and development of our work on this issue will continue throughout 2020 and into 2021.