Friday 20 April 2018

David Quinn: Sexist employers are not to blame for gender pay gap - children are

The pay gap between RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ní Bheoláin does not tell the whole story.
The pay gap between RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ní Bheoláin does not tell the whole story.

David Quinn

The row over the gender pay gap at RTÉ obscures a wider truth; nothing will finally eradicate the gender pay gap in society short of social engineering on so massive a scale that it would amount to an attack on the freedom of both men and women.

When you hear that women in Ireland earn on average about 15pc less than men (according to the latest data from the EU), it is likely you imagine that this means a woman working in the same job as a man with the same level of seniority is earning that much less than her male counterpart. Maybe this is happening sometimes but it doesn't even come close to explaining the gender pay gap in overall terms.

The gender pay gap is normally calculated by taking the hourly average of what all men earn and comparing it with the average of what all women earn. This is comparing apples with oranges.

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