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October 10th was a very important day for the women of Ireland. Since we walked into our jobs this morning in offices, salons, schools, labs, courtrooms, surgeries and shops all over Ireland this morning, we are effectively working for free until New Year’s Day 2020.

This is due to the Gender Pay Gap.

The women of Ireland earn 13.9% less than men.  If you work that out in terms of the year as a whole, we do about 8 weeks work unpaid. Irish women earn, on average, €2,808 per month compared to €3,423 for men.

A woman’s working life in Ireland also lasts for 33.1 years, on average, compared to 40.1 for men, and just 43.9% of women are in full-time employment compared to 60% of men. On top of that, 88.7% of women are doing cooking and/or housework every day, compared with 48% of men.

There are lots of internal and external reasons why the pay gap exists, and we have lots of work to do to change it, but here’s what you can do to make a start.

  1. Challenge your idea of what a woman’s work is. In the US, of the 30 lowest paid jobs, 23 are more likely to be done by women. Of the 30 highest paying jobs, 26 are more likely to be done by men. Lets start taking those jobs back.
  2. Value yourself. In 2017, only 18% of applications for leaderships jobs were from women. Again, this is a complex issue that can come down to things like childcare, but self-belief is for sure a huge part of it. We need to believe in ourselves, and our ability, and make sure that we let others see just how amazing we are.
  3. Ask for what you’re worth. Its a common misconception that women don’t ask for raises at work. We do, but we don’t get them as much. So maybe we need to ask LOUDER!!!
  4. Get a mentor. Us girls are in this together. We have a LOT of work to do. So lets make sure we have each others backs. If you know a woman who inspires you, who’s career has been successful, ask her to be your mentor, to advise you from time to time, and to be your supporter when you need it. It doesn’t matter if you’re in first year in school, or about to graduate college, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.