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Choice, not gender, is main cause of pay gap

As someone who will shortly be voting in the Seanad elections, I’ve noticed that several candidates are highlighting the gender pay gap.

While it’s true there’s a gap between the total earnings of all men as a group and all women as a group in the workforce, such statistics are quite misleading as a result of failing to take into account certain vital factors.

Recent studies in both the UK and the USA, where the overall gender pay gaps are similar to Ireland’s, have clearly demonstrated that these gaps are due mainly, if not entirely, to different job choices, work practices and lifestyle choices on the part of men and women.

To quote from one of these studies (from the USA): “When women are compared with men in the same jobs, with the same credentials and the same job tenure, the wage gap practically disappears”.

Hugh Gibney
Co Meath


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