Ask A Broadsheet Reader


Carol B writes:

Iceland women left work on Monday at 2.38pm, 14 per cent early to refeect the country’s  gender pay gap.  If we did this in Ireland (please!) what time would we have to leave work?



Tom Watts, at Expertmarket, writes:

Just getting in touch as I see you have covered the story broken by the NY Times and The Independent about the gender pay gap in Iceland and yesterday’s walk-out by female employees.

I noticed that you wanted to know what time Irish women would walk out of work and as we provided the stats for the original stories in both the NYT and Independent, I thought you might like to include them too, to give your readers a source and provide them with more information…

…The Irish GPG is 14.40%, so women stop getting paid on November 7th and could leave work at 15:51

Our original research can be found, here


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51 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Iwerzon

    The pay gap in Ireland is reported to be on average 14.4%. 37 hour week, 7 and a bit hours a day. You do the sums.

  2. Nilbert

    fair play them. I’m completely behind this, once they have the dinner on the table at a reasonable hour.

  3. Neilo

    About 7 hours after ye come into work which is usually one to two hours after the men. Shall we say 5 pm, so?

    1. realPolithicks

      So Iceland is the “best place in the world” to be a woman and still they are paid 14% less than men. What does that tell you?

  4. 15 cents

    can’t i just live there? .. iceland have it all sorted. they jailed their bankers and burtn the bond holders after global recession. they just seem to do everything fairer. and seem to be sounder. if ya want the proof, just look at all the dumb comments before this one :( .. ireland sucks.

    1. De Kloot

      You wouldn’t like it. I promise you. It’s a hard place to live day to day. Colder and wetter than here, less sunlight, survives mainly on imported goods making almost everything very expensive or not available at all… What you gain in fairness in society, there’s other considerations. That said, some deep patriarchal issues and some bizarre mis-dealings surrounding rape. I was there for a good few months with work and was really revealed to get back home.

      1. Pixxyman

        I suppose they pay more for stuff with import costs factored in.. but do they have part of their Island governed by a bigger island that gets much cheaper medicines and other good despite the same import costs involved?

    1. hansel

      It’s an earnings gap, not a pay gap.

      That’s why so many men come on here after such articles calling “bullshit”.

      Women earn less on average. This is fact.
      You can extrapolate from this either:
      1. The entire system is rigged against women
      2. There is a fundamental structural issue: more women choose to focus on family time over their career, more men choose to focus on career over family time

      Maybe if we focused on statistics regarding suicide victims, violence victims, death-in-service victims, we’d see that there’s something of a “quality of life gap” also. But apparently this isn’t measured. I’d suggest/wager that it would be worth comparing both the pay gap and the quality-of-life gap.

  5. Elizabeth Mainwaring

    Dearie me. As I said to Buffy at luncheon the other day, the world has gone topsy turvey.

    Where is Iceland?

    1. Deluded

      Even with the adjustments there is still a pay-gap. The Forbes argument is that all things considered it’s not as bad as some people claim.
      On average women* in the USA earn 79% of what men earn. When you factor in the price of motherhood etc. then the figure is 95%.

      Still a gap.

      *tip: don’t be born not-white.

      Coppélia’s link above is very informative but it in turn contains a link to the World Economic Forum’s wage-gap index, in other words, there is still a wage-gap, just that Iceland leads the way in addressing it.

  6. newsjustin

    Iceland is a paradise, unless you have Downs Syndrome. Then you’re not wanted. 100% of foetuses with Downs Syndrome are aborted.

    1. scottser

      you shouldn’t conflate Iceland’s eugenics programme with a woman’s right to choose – they’re far from the same thing.

    2. jackson

      Instead of the highly judged life of servitude you’re expected to have here? Mother Teresa used to say

      ‘Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus’

      Fits in nicely with the Catholic rhetoric, I’m sure they had that on a plaque in the laundries.
      Most people when asked anonymously say the regretted having a disabled child and would advise others to abort

  7. jumper

    Women talk about the gender inequality and pay gap in jobs. Giving out about the glass ceiling that limits their earning potential. What about the glass floor they are neatly propped on. When was the last time you saw a female, for want of a better term, bin man, sewerage worker etc. Equality is only equality as long as it suits them!

  8. Yeah, Ok

    Men work longer hours, take on more overtime, stick their necks out to ask for more money more readily than women, sacrifice their social life for their career, don’t take 6-12 months off to have kids (this is a harsh one but that’s a lot of experience gained while the women are on maternity leave), comprise practically 100% of workers in dangerous or dirty jobs, are a much bigger percentage of full-time workers vs. part-time, and any number of other reasons why the EARNINGS gap exists.

    The pay gap has been proven a myth repeatedly.

    Really, why is this being pushed by anyone? I’m all for equality but this battle makes no sense at all.


  9. Starina

    shout “pay gap” into the void and a cluster of menfolk shall spontaneously appear to tell you to calm your t1ts

        1. Clampers Outside!

          But you are not seeing what Starina suggested either.

          What we are seeing is people annoyed that this question is still being asked and presented in the same faux statistical manner for too long, and it has long been proven to be a nonsense…. so if there are a couple of comments you may see as impolite, well, can you blame them.
          People get annoyed by a lie repeated, and men will get more annoyed when it is they who are blamed for it. If they do annoy you, I don’t blame them.
          Lies and misinformation is just that, lies and misinformation. And nobody should have to listen to accusations made up of a repeated lie.

      1. Jake38

        I am outraged by the sexist use of the phrase “broad” stats.

        When will this oppression ever end?

  10. Neilo

    Starina, my acting the bolleaux aside, I agree completely with you: where women and men are doing identical jobs they should receive identical pay.

    1. Cian

      Where women and men are doing identical jobs, have identical experience, identical qualification and produce identical quality results, they should receive identical pay.

      Fixed that for you!

  11. hansel

    Women currently successfully leave secondary school and college in greater numbers and at a higher level than men.
    If a pay gap existed (unequal pay for same work), employers would surely be falling over themselves to employ only women. This isn’t the case, and some employers actively seek to NOT employ women.

    The pay gap – if we are to call it that – is because on average one gender takes more time out of their career in order to facilitate family. It’s not necessarily because employers are actively paying an equally qualified person less money.
    Trying to address the pay gap by protest like this is therefore probably ineffectual. The cultural shift needs to be towards more fathers taking leave for family time, more women doing “dangerous” jobs etc.

    My mother reached the top, was the main breadwinner at home and still raised a family. I’m immensely proud of her. I’d like to see more women at the top of their industry. But I think protest for more pay like this is a sideshow. The real story is why women are earning less on average, not why they’re getting less pay.

    1. Cian

      There is a pay gap. For women without children its -17%; They get paid 17% *more* than men.
      So all you childless wans need to stay in work an extra 97 minutes and then come out to demonstrate.

      See: and look at page 8 “Figures from the OECD show that in Ireland “the Gender Pay Gap for women with no children is -17% but this increases significantly to 14% for women with at least one child – a jump of 31 percentage points.”

      Also notice the way the “-17%” on the PFD is line wrapped, so the “-” is on one line, and the “17%” is on the next!!!

      “Figures from the OECD
      show that in Ireland the Gender Pay
      Gap for women with no children is –
      17% but this increases significantly to
      14% for women with at least one child
      – a jump of 31 percentage points.”


      1. hansel

        Thanks, that’s basically confirming what I thought, but it’s even worse than I thought.

        Until men and women do the same jobs in the same numbers, and also have the same out-of-workplace lifestyle, talk of a gender pay gap is just playing around at the edges of the real issue.

        The real issue appears to be that raising children is a large financial burden on one gender.
        I’m also curious as to whether it’s equivalently a large emotional burden on the opposite gender: males seem to have a higher suicide rate/death-in-service rate/lower life expectancy etc. I’d be curious to see if family/relationship integration/disintegration as discussed above are the source of this. Perhaps the same equality measures could address both at once.

    2. Fact Checker

      There is a gender pay gap everywhere in the world.

      You have to think about it at various different ages.

      The gap is small to non-existent at the age of 28 or so. Then it grows rapidly, and although it shrinks again over the course of a lifetime it never recovers.

      Fertility/child-rearing is clearly a major factor, both in the context of supply of AND demand for women’s labour. Men becoming fathers (in my limited, anecdotal experience) also pushes them to put a bit more effort into their career too.

      But a bit of the gap is probably still down to bad old-fashioned patriarchy at work and a bit of the noise on the issue is a very good thing.

      1. Fact Checker

        One should also remember that there are probably more men with ZERO market income (and not by choice) than women.

        There are appreciably more men than women in youth unemployment, long-term unemployment, prison, homelessness, etc.

        This is very hard to capture in any statistical comparison approach.

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