80% of those in the top two government pay grades are men

Government departments are being urged to publish their gender pay data after new figures show the majority of top jobs go to men.

Almost 80% of those in the top two pay grades are men according to a report by Newstalk radio.

The figures, released to the station under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the grades of senior management within government departments have a higher number of men than women.

The figures also show lower paid clerical grades are dominated by women.

Newstalk also reveal that despite civil service pay rates being fixed and unreflective of gender, on average - across the departments - women earn about 8,000 euro less than men

In a week where Communications Minister Denis Naughten called for RTÉ to release their gender pay stats for top stars, he is now being called on to lead by example with his own departments figures.

Responding to the news Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers said some of the discrepancy may be explained by women taking maternity leave but suggested the rules about that should be changed.

"I think we should look at maternity leave and maybe chanage it around to parental leave where perhaps there is the option if ... the couple chooses ... they can share that leave between them so that the burden doesn’t solely rest on the women to always take the full maternity leave to her self."

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