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Our annual campaign on gender equality in the workplace kicks off today

Our annual campaign on gender equality in the workplace kicks off today

Today marks the start of our annual campaign to raise awareness of gender inequalities in the workplace. Since November 2016, we have staged an annual campaign on this issue.

 In 2019, we agreed five key themes to guide our campaigning work:

  1. Caring responsibilities. We are advocating for an Ireland where family caring duties are properly recognised and facilitated by employers and policymakers.
  2. Societal gender norms. Gender stereotyping is a major factor that impacts on workplace inequalities. We are working to eradicate gender stereotyping in relation to caring responsibilities and employment.
  3. Flexible working. WorkEqual has called for more flexible work options for many years and we continue to work with employers to encourage and showcase progress in this area.
  4. Women in leadership. To effectively tackle gender inequality, we need more women in positions of leadership – across all sectors.
  5. Tackling the gender pay gap. Legislation compelling employers in Ireland to disclose their gender pay gaps comes into force next year. We want to ensure this new law not only focuses on compliance, but also on incentivising employers to make meaningful progress in tackling the gender pay gap, i.e. by being required to submit an action plan to close their gender pay gaps at the same time as making their disclosure. We also want to see the Government roll out an effective public awareness campaign that really educates people about what the gender pay gap is and why it is important to measure it.

Caring Duties – the Focus of our 2021 Campaign

For our 2021 campaign, we are focusing on childcare – and on how family caring duties can impact on career progression.

Over the month of November, we’ll be highlighting how caring duties and childcare impact on women’s participation in the workforce. We’ll be showcasing best-practice international and domestic solutions; and developing a series of recommendations for Government aimed at enhancing Ireland’s childcare provision.

Equal Pay Day: 8th November

Currently, the gender pay gap in Ireland stands at 14.4%. This means that, across the workforce, women earn – on average – 14.4% less than men for every hour they work.

We mark Equal Pay Day each November to highlight the gender pay gap and related issues. In 2021, Equal Pay Day falls on Monday, 8th November – the date on which women in Ireland effectively stop earning, relative to men, because of our gender pay gap.

To mark Equal Pay Day 2021, we will hold a special meeting of the WorkEqual Oireachtas All-Party Group. We will also release the results of some fascinating research we’ve commissioned – on public attitudes to gender equality.

Flagship Seminar

Later in the month, the flagship seminar for our 2021 campaign will take place online – on Thursday, 25th November. Entitled ‘Reimagining Childcare Provision’, the event will explore how Ireland can learn from other countries to improve our childcare system and promote family-friendly work cultures.

The seminar will feature international guest speakers, showcasing best practice in public childcare provision. There will also be a panel discussion on the challenges and solutions from an Irish perspective, with panellists including:

  • The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD;
  • Frances Byrne, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Early Childhood Ireland;
  • Mark Paul, Business Affairs Correspondent with The Irish Times; and
  • Sonya Lennon, founder of WorkEqual.

The event is free to attend and anyone with an interest in gender equality, workplace relations, childcare and related issues is welcome. You can register to attend here.

Get Involved!

More generally, you can get involved and engage with our campaign throughout the month of November by following us on social media and sharing your own thoughts about gender equality at work, using the hashtag #WorkEqual.

Campaign Sponsors

Our annual awareness-raising campaign is sponsored by Permanent TSB and SOLAS. We are hugely thankful for their support and we look forward to continuing our work with them this year to highlight how we can promote gender equality in Irish workplaces.