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ESB's Gender Pay Gap Report

Gender Pay Gap Report 2021

At ESB, we embrace our diversity, uniqueness and individuality so that together, we can lead the way towards an inclusive Brighter Future for all. Over the past number of years, an increasing focus has been brought to gender pay gap as a means of highlighting the need for increased focus on gender diversity in the workplace.

Since 2017, employers with 250 or more employees in the UK have been legally required to report annually on the gender pay gap within their organisation. We have decided to publish our gender pay gap in advance of any Irish legislative requirement to do so as there is still some work to be done from an Irish context with learnings from the UK experience.

ESB Gender Pay Gap Report 2021

The gender pay gap shows the difference in the average pay between all men and all women in the workforce regardless of the nature of their work.  It is expressed as a percentage of men's pay. It is a means of capturing whether women are represented evenly across the organisation.

There is an important distinction between unequal pay and the gender pay gap, each of which has different causes. Paying women less than men for the same job, purely on account of their gender, is illegal and is outlawed by equality legislation. The gender pay gap is different. It refers to the gap between what is earned on average by women and men based on average gross hourly earnings of all paid employees - not just men and women doing the same job, or with the same experience or working pattern. It does not indicate or identify discrimination or bias or even an absence of equal pay for equal value work. Where unequal pay practices exist, they can contribute to the gender pay gap, but they are not considered the primary factor causing Ireland's gender pay gap.

Improving gender diversity continues to be central to ESB’s strategy on inclusion and diversity and understanding what is driving the gender pay gap allows us to bring a renewed focus to the changes that are needed to address it. 

With legislation expected later this year, it will be mandatory for organisations with 250 employees or more to report on the gender pay gap.  We want to be open and use this as an opportunity to talk about gender diversity and the actions required to ensure we have an inclusive working culture across ESB. 

In the absence of a confirmed calculation methodology, we have applied the high-level calculation principles in place for UK gender pay gap reporting and the mean (average) gender pay is 4.5%. The inclusion of overtime earnings increases this mean (average) to 11.6%.

Analysis of this shows that the pay gap is largely driven by significantly lower female participation in craft and engineering roles, which often involve work schedules that attract role specific pay and allowances, and a higher number of men in senior leadership roles across all disciplines.

Leadership Accountability And Commitment

ESB’s leadership team is committed to understanding the drivers of our gender pay gap and addressing these through our Inclusion & Diversity Strategy. The strategy sets our clear actions to increase female participation at leadership levels. Since 2015, we have increased female participation in senior leadership positions from 25% to 30%.


We have been working on our recruitment practices to ensure they are inclusive to all and can support increased diversity throughout our organisation.

Development And Talent

We are committed to ensuring our talent pipeline is increasingly diverse, putting in place the necessary supports to ensure our development interventions support this.  

Smart Working

We know that flexible working is a key enabler of diversity and is critical at key life points to enable better work-life integration. Our plans to introduce smarter working practices are designed to enable a more flexible, performance based working culture that supports diverse talent throughout the career journey.

Further Reading