Sunday 15 September 2019

'I was surprised by the figures' - Bryan Dobson on revelation of pay discrepancy with Sharon Ní Bheoláin

Bryan Dobson on last night's Late Late Show
Bryan Dobson on last night's Late Late Show

Sean Nolan

Bryan Dobson has said that he was "surprised" when the difference between what he was paid compared to his former Six One colleague Sharon Ní Bheoláin was revealed.

During an appearance on the Late Late Show last night, the broadcaster said that he also found it difficult to see the justification for the difference.

It emerged last summer that Ní Bheoláin was being paid between €60,000 and €80,000 less than her then co-anchor on the flagship news show of the national broadcaster.

"It is rather unsettling when you report the news to become the news but it is perfectly legitimate," Mr Dobson told Ryan Tubridy on the subject.

"It got a lot of attention last summer and I was surprised by the figures as Sharon revealed them.

"I found it difficult to see the justification for the difference, at least the scale of the diffference.

"I absolutely believe in the principal that you pay equally for equal work. I don't think anyone has any toleration for gender discrimination where people are doing the same job."

The Morning Ireland presenter also went on to address the wider issue of gender in the workplace and beyond.

"Even if you do meet the bar of equal pay for work of equal value that actually doesn't deal with the problem so there are lots of other issues," said Mr Dobson.

"About women being concentrated in lower paid jobs, about taking time out from work perhaps, losing promotional opportunities, working part time, so it is a complex enough issue.

"It is part of a whole debate about the relationship between men and women, the role of women in society, how they are treated... we are definitely at a turning point. I think is a thoroughly good, healthy development.

"I think men are actually, in some ways, disadvantaged by this patriarchal society that we are expected to carry. I don't think it will do men any harm if there is a shift towards greater respect for women, a greater equality for women, greater involvement for women in decision making and in every aspect of society.

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