News & Events

Government to host Symposium on the Gender Pay Gap

Ministers Flanagan, Humphreys and Stanton to bring together senior policymakers, business representatives, trades unions and academics on 10th January to advance measures to address the gender pay gap 

Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, and Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, will host a symposium on the gender pay gap in Dublin on 10th January.

The symposium will bring together senior policymakers, business representatives, trades unions and academics. A public consultation was launched on 9 August by Minister Flanagan and Minister of State Stanton on measures to address the gender pay gap. Minister Flanagan will brief attendees on the submissions received. The symposium will also hear about the initiatives under consideration in the European Commission to address the gender pay gap.

Participants will hear from a wide range of speakers including: Morgan O’Donnell, Statistician, CSO; Dr Micheál Collins, UCD; Orla O’Connor, Director, National Women’s Council of Ireland; Mary Connaughton, Director, CIPD Ireland; Colin Bray, President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland; Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner, IHREC; Senator Ivana Bacik; representatives of IBEC, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and others. There will be panel discussions and audience participation will be integral to the event. All Members of the Oireachtas have been invited to participate. 

Minister Flanagan said: “2018 is a very significant year for Irish women, marking a centenary since women achieved voting rights in Ireland. This anniversary will provide significant momentum to implement the gender equality measures in the Programme for Government, advanced through the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020. This symposium is part of that process. Minister Stanton and I have a range of plans to advance the gender equality agenda in 2018. Many organisations and individuals are also active in this area and this symposium is a great opportunity to share ideas and work together to achieve common goals.”

Minister Humphreys said: “It is very important that we have a well-informed debate and devise practical policy solutions. I believe the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in this symposium is very valuable and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government to implement the Programme for Government commitments.”

Minister of State Stanton said: “Putting a system of wage surveys in place will help us to identify where there are particular problems and where further action is needed. I call on the business sector to play an active part in cooperating with the Government’s initiatives to address the gender pay gap. Working together, we can make a real difference in the lives of female and male workers across the economy.”


Note for Editors 

For more information contact Press Office, Department of Justice & Equality ph. 6028359 or

The Ministers are announcing the symposium on January 6th - Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas).

The Programme for a Partnership Government contains a commitment to take measures to reduce the gender pay gap. Specifically, the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020 which was launched in May 2017 includes three actions with the stated outcome of reducing the gender pay gap as follows:

Action 1.21 Undertake a package of measures to tackle the gender pay

Action 1.22 Initiate dialogue between union and employer stakeholders to address the gender pay gap. Develop and promote practical information resources to explain and increase understanding of the multifaceted aspects of the gender pay gap and its causes (i.e. traditional role models, gender-segregated education and labour market, the challenges of balancing work and family life, the difference in participation of men and women in family responsibilities, the availability of quality, affordable childcare facilities and out-of-school hours care, and processes within organisations where imbalance needs to be addressed). Develop practical tools to assist employers to calculate the gender pay gap within their organisations and to consider its aspects and causes, mindful of obligations regarding privacy and data protection.

Action 1.23 Promote wage transparency by requiring companies of 50 or more employees to complete a wage survey periodically and report the results.