Women employees of The Irish Times earn on average significantly less than their male colleagues, the company’s gender pay gap report for 2022 confirms.
The newspaper and website publisher said it had a mean (or average) gender pay gap of 14.47 per cent and a median pay gap of 20.39 per cent, based on hourly earnings, and attributed it to a lack of women in senior positions.
Addressing the gender pay gap will be “a key element” of a new action plan on diversity and inclusion that the company intends to launch in 2023, according to group managing director Deirdre Veldon.
“The Irish Times remains fully committed to building and optimising the diversity of our workforce. We understand that progress requires conscious and concerted action over time,” Ms Veldon said.
The company pledged to reduce the overall gender pay gap at The Irish Times every year, achieve a 50:50 balance in the top half of the organisation within five years and be within 5 per cent of eliminating its gender pay gap by 2027.
It described these aims as “ambitious”.
[ What’s going on with Ireland’s ‘unexplained’ gender pay gap? ]
Some 65 per cent of employees at The Irish Times are men and 35 per cent are women. Among editorial staff, the split is 62 per cent male and 38 per cent female. But the best paid individuals in the company are even more likely to be men.
Only 22 per cent of the company’s upper quartile pay band are women, while women are over-represented in the lower quartile pay band, accounting for 43 per cent of this group.
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On bonuses, there was a mean pay gap in favour of women of 18.64 per cent, which reflects the payment of sales commission bonuses to female employees in commercial teams.
The gender pay gap at The Irish Times is likely to be above the current average gender pay gap in the State, which European Commission statistics body Eurostat placed at 11.3 per cent in 2018.
The release of the company’s data follows the revelation on Tuesday that women employed by Mediahuis Ireland – the publisher of the Irish Independent and other news titles – earn an average of 22.3 per cent less than male employees, with the median pay gap at its operations in the Republic standing at 24.4 per cent.
[ Irish Independent publisher Mediahuis pledges to tackle male bias as it reveals gender pay gap of 22% ]
Earlier this week, State-owned broadcaster RTÉ said it had a mean gap of 11.55 per cent and a median gap of 13 per cent. The median gender pay gap relates to how much a female employee at the midpoint of all female hourly wages is paid compared to a male employee at the midpoint of all male hourly wages.
The Irish Times, Mediahuis and RTÉ are among the organisations with 250 employees or more that must by law calculate and publish their gender pay gaps this month in compliance with new legislation.
While 52 per cent of RTÉ’s employees are male, some 61 per cent of Mediahuis Ireland’s workforce is male – close to the imbalance in representation at The Irish Times.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has sharply criticised the pay gaps to emerge to date, with its Dublin broadcasting branch saying the RTÉ figures were “not good enough” and Irish NUJ organiser Ian McGuinness describing the Mediahuis gap as “astonishing”.