Despite being better educated overall, women aged 25-64, with a degree in Ireland earn 28% less than their male counterparts (OECD). In the 2019 workplace, 39% of women report experiencing discrimination. 1/3 indicate the discrimination was gender-based (CSO 2019). Globally based on current trends, it will take 257 years to close the gender gap in economic opportunity (UN 2020).
In the Irish workplace, the most common form of discrimination reported is gender-based. 33%, is noted as the most common ground, the underlying reason, for discrimination.
Who Experiences Workplace Discrimination in Ireland
Over the past two years, 17% of people noted experiencing discrimination at work. 10% of females and 8.2% of males reported being discriminated against. Workplace discrimination also covers those seeking work. One in 4 unemployed people seeking work, and one in 5 non-white people reported workplace discrimination. Other minority groups, as well as those aged 25-44 also report discrimination as in the table below.
Hidden here is the experience of intersectionality, that of people who are part of more than one group. The challenges of white unemployed disabled people is different from those of employed Black-Irish people. (For an excellent explanation of intersectionality see here.)
Bullying, Harassment & Sexual Harassment
The biggest problem felt in the workplace by both genders is bullying and harassments. Allowing for less men reporting discrimination, a substantial gender gap between those experiencing bullying & harassment emerges as shown below. This should not surprise us in the era of #MeToo revealing many examples of sexual abuse and sexual harassment by men, an increase in workplace complaints of sexual harassment in Ireland and high profile Irish examples. An Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ survey further explores people’s experience of workplace sexual harassment.
Working conditions and pay are of greater concern to females (perhaps a reflection of the gender pay gap).
And what do we typically do when experiencing discrimination? Nothing 🙁
Under-reporting is worrying as without visibility to what is happening, it’s difficult to build momentum to address problems of discrimination.
Separately, Ireland’s tax payers fund a national organization tasked with holding us all accountable for human rights and equality. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, IHREC, offers information to those seeking assistance on their rights. In 2019 statistics for those seeking employment related information ‘gender’ discrimination was second only to ‘disability’. In the 2016 census 13.5% of the population, 643,000 people, self-identified as having a disability.
Resources To Help Those Experiencing Workplace Discrimination
- Contact IHREC => Access the ‘My Rights’ service here
- Gendelity’s Salary Negotiation Workshop for Professional Women.
- National Women’s Council of Ireland Employment Advisory Service
- CSO Ireland Inequality and Discrimination 2019