On average, men working in professional jobs earn €12,500 more than women when bonus and salary are taken into account. When the two are split, the average salary gap stands at 16% while the bonus gap goes up as high as 50%.

This is according to new research from Morgan McKinley who partnered with Global salary bench marking experts, Emolument.com to collate the salary data from more than 5,500 professionals working in Ireland through an online survey.

The research analysed factors such as educational attainment, experience and sector to examine whether these had any role in pay differential. The research indicates that the earnings gap actually increases along with the education level attained.

While the gap is 10% for employees holding a BSc Degree it actually rises to 33% for Executive MBA holders. That represents a gender pay gap of €32,500 difference annually, compared to €11,500 (22%) difference between men and women with no degree. Greater educational attainment on the part of women therefore has no impact on the earnings pay gap.

Furthermore, the trend is in evidence when it comes to experience. The gender pay gap actually widens with years of experience from 12% for 0-5 years’ experience through to 28% for 15+ years’ experience.

On the other hand, there is an encouraging narrowing of the gender pay gap for women who manage to make it to the top. They are paid almost the same as men at chief executive and other top executive levels (1% pay gap) but that’s largely compensated by the fact that there are far less women in those positions than men – 24% to 76%.

Indeed, female representation diminishes fairly consistently from entry level through to top level executive. The one stand-out exception to this rule is HR where there has traditionally been a disproportionately higher number of female HR Leaders than males. The balance stands at 73% female to 27% male at the moment and this has led to a 15% higher salary differential in favour of female HR leaders.

Some of the sectors and jobs in which the pay gap is the highest are ones in which bonuses traditionally represent an important component of compensation. Financial Services has the highest pay gap of all sectors at 29% while sales jobs have the highest pay gap of all disciplines with males earning 23% greater than their female counterparts. Sales and financial services represent the employers with the highest bonuses and therefore the highest gender pay gap.

The lowest pay gaps were found in Big Data (3%), Accounting (5%), and Audit (8%). This reflects efforts by professional services firms to ensure a greater gender balance among graduate intake.  There is also evidence of a positive bias towards females in technology by employers in what has historically been a male dominated sector and this has been reflected in the lower salary differential of 7% in the Technology and Telecoms sector.

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