A new report on the Irish economy shows that many women are still being left out of the job market despite being in demand for years.
The report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) said women had only accounted for 13.9% of job vacancies last year, while men accounted for 51.9%.
While the overall gender gap narrowed last year by around 3.5 percentage points to 7.5%, women’s employment rates were still lower than men’s, with just over one in five job seekers aged 25-34 being female.
The ESRI said the gender gap could be linked to the fact that women tend to be older and have lower skills than men, and also that women have less social and economic support from their families.
It said there were also concerns that young women could not find jobs in the same way as older men.
The ESRI said that women’s participation in the labour market remained low, despite being the fastest growing demographic group in the economy.
It also found that, in 2014, women were still just one in 10 jobseekers, and one in nine were women who had a higher qualification.
The employment rate for women aged 25 to 34 stood at 65.6% and for men at 69.3%.
The report found that over the past decade, the number of women entering the workforce has more than doubled, from 9.4 million to 13.3 million, and that the number who have a bachelor’s degree has risen from 8.2 million to 16.2%.
The ESI said that the gender pay gap is still much smaller than for men, but that there was some progress in narrowing the gap in recent years.
However, the report found a lack of awareness about the issue, as well as a lack in training for employers.
Its chief economist, Paul McBride, said there was a need for employers to be aware of the gender gaps and training, and to be more open to women in particular.
“It’s important that we get more women involved in the workforce, but we need to get more of our workforce involved in training too,” he said.
The number of vacancies for women and men is very similar, according to the report, but the number in the two groups is quite different.
In 2014, there were 8.9 million vacancies for both genders, with women making up 14.5% of the total.
However, in 2019, there was only 1.8 million vacancies, with men making up 3.9%, according to ESI figures.
The unemployment rate for both groups was at 5.1% in 2015, and it remained below 5% for the next two years.
Meanwhile, there are over 8 million jobs in Ireland.
Source: ESI/AAP/Press Association ImagesIrish Independent