NTMA reports 20.5pc gender pay gap due to more men in senior roles

NTMA chief executive Frank O’Connor speaks at a recent investor presentation

Sarah Collins

Men are paid, on average, 20.5 pc more per hour than women at the body that handles Ireland’s debt.

The National Treasury Management Agency said the gap was down to more men in senior roles, more women in junior roles and fewer female applicants for senior roles. Women make up 52pc of the organisation.

The figures include employees working in State lender the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) and Home Building Finance Ireland, which funds the delivery of new homes.

There are more women in part-time positions, the NTMA said in its 2022 gender pay gap report, with part-time female workers earning 70.8pc more than their male co-workers, on average. The gap for contract employees was 17.7pc, in favour of men.

The gender pay gap is not the same as pay discrimination, which is illegal.

It measures the average difference between male and female salaries across all roles, and does not indicate that men are paid more than women for doing the same job.

In terms of the median, or middle point between the highest and lowest salaries, there was a 17pc gap between men and women, in favour of men.

There was also a gap in bonus payments, with men making 22.5pc on average more than women (21.5pc in median terms).

"We are committed to building on our efforts to increase the number of women in senior roles,” said NTMA chief executive Frank O’Connor. “We recognise that this will take time.”

Financial firms operating in Ireland have an average gender pay gap of 20.5pc, according to the Financial Services Union (FSU), which analysed data from Bank of Ireland, AIB, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank.

Gaps at stockbroking firms Goodbody and Davy exceeded 40pc in June 2022.

FSU general secretary John O’Connell said the gap was “unacceptably high”.

“The numbers reported across all the retail banks are very worrying and deserving of urgent attention,” he said this week.

“This is a real opportunity for the retail banks to show the culture in the banking sector is changing and is becoming more inclusive and transparent.”

The FSU is calling on banks to make pay ranges public, agree annual pay gap reduction targets, encourage part-tie and flexible working and audit pay increases for fairness.

The average pay gap in Ireland was just over 11pc in 2019, according to Eurostat, but is far higher in law firms and management consultants, some technology companies and many engineering-related businesses.