Women in Work Index 2023

This year, despite a rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic, PwC’s Women in Work Index did not catch up to its pre-pandemic path of progress towards equality. The impact of the pandemic on labour markets across the OECD prompted a one-time fall in the Index in 2020. We’ve now seen the Index rebound, mostly because of increased participation of women in the labour force, along with a slight fall in the unemployment rate for women. However, the rebound was not to the level needed to put the Index back on its pre-pandemic growth trajectory.

Ireland has made some progress, however. The country now ranks 12th in the Index, up from 15th place the previous year, while the gender pay gap as measured by the Index now stands at 6.9%—down from 7.5% in the previous year. This compares favourably to the average gender pay gap across the OECD, which widened by 0.6% to 14%—just three percentage points lower than it was a decade ago (17% in 2011).

The data in this year’s Women in Work Index report points to a number of challenges, from harmful gender norms and the motherhood penalty to the cost of childcare and parental leave policies. To overcome these issues, business leaders should heed the four most important workplace empowerment factors for women in Ireland. They are fair compensation (79%), job fulfilment (75%), a workplace where you can truly be yourself (79%) and working as part of a team that cares about your wellbeing (67%).

Explore the findings from our research in our report below. You can also explore the Women in Work Index results at a country level using our interactive data tool to see how OECD countries—including Ireland—perform on key metrics measuring women’s employment outcomes.

Contact us

Emma Scott

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Gerard McDonough

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 87 224 1517

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