This October’s Jobs Expo Dublin will host a special panel discussion: Breaking The Glass Ceiling: Women and the Gender Pay Gap.
Andrea Hayes will moderate the panel. Joining her will be broadcaster and journalist Barbara Scully, founder of Enhance Medical, Aisling Holly and documentary maker Angela Mezzetti.
Andrea is an award-winning author and is best known for presenting TV3’s hugely successful series ‘Ireland’s Animal A&E’, ‘Coming Home For Christmas’ and Life Stories in Dublin Airport. She is also a regular guest presenter on TV3’s all female panel show Midday and has regularly contributed to the breakfast show Ireland AM over the years. She has been working with TV3 since 2005. Andrea has just completed her first book with Mercier Press. She is also the Editor for the Irish Wedding Diary magazine. Her flair for writing has seen her articles appear regularly in Woman’s Way magazine, she has also written for, Slainte Health Magazine, Chronic Pain Ireland, Oh Baby magazine, The Waiting Room magazine and is looking forward to more writing work in 2016.
Why does the glass ceiling and gender pay gap still exist for women? Women are better educated than men, but earn less and don’t climb the career ladder in the numbers we should. Is this by choice or is the fault of a culture that descriminates against women?
Irish women are better-qualified and more likely to have a third-level qualification than Irish men. Not bad when you consider that it was only in 1977 that the Employment Equality Act prohibited discrimination on the grounds of gender or marital status in most areas of employment. But women still earn less than their male counterparts. Women are still under-represented in management, even in the sectors where they are the majority of employees, such as the public, health and education sectors. They are similarly under-represented in the Oireachtas and in local and regional authorities.
What has stopped women from getting to the top in their chosen professions? Having a family is certainly a factor; most opportunities for career development take place during a woman’s child-bearing years.
Motherhood and societal perceptions
There is a societal perception that women ‘check-out’ of their career after having a baby. The idea is that having a career while raising a family held little interest for them. Does a career may move down the priority list when children come along? Should this affect career ambitions? Mothers learn they are no longer ‘players’ in various, sometimes subtle ways. For women, taking advantage of flex options or reduced schedules results in ‘punishment’. They do not get high-profile assignments, and projects they once led go to someone else.
How do we close the gap between expectation and reality? Is a change in work culture the answer? Should we not encourage both men and women to balance careers with family?
The Gender Pay Gap
What about the gender pay gap? The European Commission say that the gender pay gap in Ireland is widening, from 12.6%, in 2009 and 2008, to 13.9%, in 2010, to a shocking 14.4%, in 2012. An Irish ‘Men and Women in Ireland’ report shows that 50% of women in Ireland earn €20,000 or less and women are only half as likely as men to earn €50,000 or more.
Our panel discussion will debate these issues and provide some answers on what is the best way to position either your application for a job or your current career to best navigate the gender pay gap and glass ceiling.