The Equality Authority is today calling for targeted policies to address the wage gap between male and female workers.
The latest ESRI research shows that, when education and experience are taken into account, men's average hourly wages were still 8% higher than those of women in 2003.
The differential was largest in the construction industry, the sales sector and professional occupations.
The main reason for the gap is believed to be loss of experience caused when women leave the workforce for family reasons.
The Equality Authority says this highlights the need for men to equally share the burden of caring for family members.