Women earn an average of 21 percent less per hour than men at the state health insurance company VHI.
HI, the country’s largest insurer, said in its first report on the gender pay gap that the difference was due to a higher number of women in lower-paid administrative positions and more men in managerial positions.
The gender pay gap is different from wage discrimination – paying men and women differently for the same work – which is illegal.
Around 660 Irish-based companies – those with more than 250 employees – are required this month to report on the disparity in average wages and bonuses of their Irish workforce and to disclose the gender breakdown across all pay scales.
Smaller companies must report from 2024.
Looking at the median, or mean, between the highest and lowest hourly wages, women earned 19 percent less than men at VHI as of June 9 of this year.
Median numbers are less affected by extremes at either end of the pay scale.
The bonus gap at VHI was also wide, with men earning an average of 31 percent more than women, although bonuses were paid to 88 percent of both women and men at the insurer.
The median bonus gap was 18 percent, “due to the number of older male colleagues who receive higher bonuses and male colleagues in part-time or temporary positions to which bonuses are not applicable.”
VHI employs 1,655 people across the company, the vast majority (67 percent) of whom are women.
“VHI’s pay gap is largely caused by the unequal distribution of men and women within our workforce,” said the report, which was published on the insurer’s website last week.
“Administrative tasks are mainly held by women. Women also make up the vast majority of colleagues who work part-time or on fixed-term contracts.
In the meantime, VHI’s senior leadership team and our senior management functions are predominantly male.”
Except for the top quartile, there were more women than men at all pay levels.
The company said it was running management development and women leadership programs and training on unconscious bias to try to close the gender pay gap.
“VHI is committed to understanding and improving our gender representation at all levels,” the report says.
In a sample of large Irish companies operating in the UK, men earned 16 per cent more than their female counterparts last year, according to analysis by Independent.ie.
The pay gap was widest in law firms, transportation companies, management consultants and banks, with some tech companies also showing large differences.
A recent survey by IrishJobs subsidiary Universum found that the overall gender pay gap in Ireland – based on annual wages – is 16 per cent, with the IT sector showing the biggest difference.
The semi-public company An Post was the first company to publish its report under Ireland’s new reporting requirements. For the second year in a row, a zero gender pay gap was recorded.
Women were paid an average of 0.86 percent more than men at the company this June, a slight increase from 2021.
However, men earn 8.2 percent more in bonuses than women, while women make up just 25 percent of An Post’s workforce.
https://www.independent.ie/business/in-the-workplace/women-earn-a-fifth-less-than-men-on-average-at-health-insurer-vhi-42223085.html At the VHI, women earn on average a fifth less than men