Sonya Lennon Launches Campaign to Highlight the Gender Pay Gap

Dress for Success Dublin, the charity that supports women to enter the workforce and establish sustainable careers, has announced details of its third annual #WorkEqual campaign, which kicks off today and runs throughout the month of November.

The campaign highlights the gender pay gap – the disparity in the average hourly earnings of men and women – through public events, political engagements and awareness-raising activities.

As part of the 2018 campaign, Dress for Success is designating Tuesday, 13th November, as a #WorkEqual day of action to highlight Ireland’s gender pay gap.

The organisation is also launching its new ‘Pay Disclosure Pioneers’ initiative, which will see a group of leading businesses committing to early pay disclosure and advancement towards workplace equality before legal requirement under Ireland’s new gender pay gap laws.

Sonya Lennon, designer, tech entrepreneur and founder of Dress for Success Dublin.

Announcing details of the campaign today, Sonya Lennon – designer, businesswoman and founder of Dress for Success Dublin – said: “Ireland’s gender pay gap is 14 per cent. This means women in Ireland effectively stop earning, relative to men, in mid-November each year.

“This year, we’re designating 13th November as the day on which the gender pay gap kicks into effect. In essence, women then work for free for the rest of the year. So we’re calling on people across the country to take action on the 13th to help us raise awareness of the gender pay gap. You can show your support through an online post using our #WorkEqual hashtag or by coming along to one of the events we’re organising.

“We’re also encouraging workplaces to have conversations about pay as part of our day of action. If we don’t face up to the fact that a pay gap exists, we can’t address it. So talk to others about what they earn and how they negotiate their salaries. Think about what your own place of work is doing to promote equality.”

Pay Disclosure Pioneers
“With our new Pay Disclosure Pioneers initiative, Dress for Success Dublin is working with a cohort of companies that want to drive towards gender equality by publishing pay data before mandatory implementation commences in 18 months,” continued Sonya Lennon. “Together, we will address the numbers and develop the strategy to move towards equality in the workplace.

“The gender pay gap is linked to a wide range of cultural, legal, social and economic factors. It is a much more complex issue than the concept of ‘equal pay for equal work’. To truly tackle the gender pay gap, we need to look at cultural conditioning and stereotypes, childcare supports, equal parental leave, salary negotiation skills, and the barriers to women’s progression at all levels of their career.

“The Irish Government has committed to introducing legislation to oblige companies to disclose their gender pay gap, which is a welcome move and something that has worked well in the UK. This November, for the third year in a row, we’ll be engaging with our corporate supporters, members of the public and politicians at national, European and local authority levels to raise awareness of the pay gap and the measures we can take to achieve true workplace equality.”

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