According to, the gender pay gap is defined as: “The difference, on average, across a population between men’s and women’s pay. The gender pay gap is not only about equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, which is required under the Employment Equality Act, but it is also about gender representation.”

This gender pay gap is presented through a range of measures, including the difference in the median and mean hourly remuneration of all relevant male and female employees, and male and female employees on temporary contracts.


With gender pay gap legislation coming into force last year, companies across Ireland with over 250 employees were required to publish information on their gender pay gap from 1 December. Gender pay reporting obligations will extend to employers with 150 or more employees in 2024 and to employers with 50 or more employees in 2025. Companies with more than 250 employees had to select a date in June 2022 as their “relevant date” on which to base their reports.

Many companies within the agri-food industry are seeing slight improvements in gender pay gap figures. However, the average national gender pay gap in Ireland within a single organistaion is 14%. This can be partly attributed to the significant difference in gender representation at senior levels of management.

Reports from some of the large agri-food companies in the sector are outlined on the right including Tirlán, Teagasc, Dairygold, the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Ornua, Aurivo and Kerry Group.


Tirlán has a 75% to 25% male to female gender split, along with a mean gender pay gap of 18.5% In Tirlán there is a higher proportion of men in each quartile (see table 2). This means that, of the highest paid positions, 79% are men and 21% are female. Pat O’Keeffe, corporate affairs director, says: “This is the first gender pay gap report that we have published, in keeping with our obligations as a large employer. It shows a mean gender pay gap of 18.5% and a median gender pay gap of 15.7%. Tirlán is committed to working to reduce this gap in the years ahead.”


The mean average hourly pay of the total number of permanent males working in Teagasc is €33.95, whereas the mean hourly pay of the total number of permanent females working in Teagasc is €29.96. Therefore, the mean gender pay gap for permanent full-time staff is 12%.

Table 6 shows how only 23% of female staff hold ?positions within thethe highest paying quartile in the organisation, n, resulting in 77% of Teagasc’s top earners being men.

Valerie Farrell, head of human resources at Teagasc says: “Teagasc has been implementing initiatives arising from our gender equality strategy for the last four years and this has positively contributed to a reduction in the pay gap. We have seen an increase in the number of women in senior roles and we have been making efforts to change the symbols and language used in our sector, such as the publication of our gender-sensitive communication guidelines.”


There is a 12.3% gap in the mean gender pay gap, in Dairygold where 70% of the workforce is male and 30% female.

Approximately 75% of roles in the middle-upper and the upper quartiles in Dairygold are occupied by males (table 4). Jobs in these quartiles are higher paying, with the more senior roles in the upper quartile.

Conor Galvin, chief executive at Dairygold, says: “The dairy and agribusiness industry is traditionally male-dominated and the information contained in this report gives Dairygold the opportunity to work towards addressing gender diversity in our business. Dairygold is committed to improving the gender balance in our organisation and ensuring that actionable initiatives are set to reduce the gender pay gap.”

Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

The gender gap in median hourly remuneration is 12.7%. This reflects the fact that a higher proportion of the staff at more senior levels of the Department are men.

The upper remuneration quartile pay band comprises 62.2% male and 37.8% female (table 8), which shows that there is still a greater proportion of men at more senior levels within the Department.

Ornua Co-operative

The above outlines that the gender pay gap for Ornua Co-operative Ltd on the snapshot date of 30 June 2022 was 34% (median 29%) and, including Kerrygold park, the average pay gap for all employees was 23% (median 18%). At 68%, a larger proportion of the most senior employees are male, compared to 32% for females (table 10). In the second-highest paid positions 61% are male and 32% are female. John Jordan, chief executive of Ornua says: “Over the coming year we will be introducing further measures to achieve the goal of greater gender diversity, including the introduction of KPIs for diversity and belonging within each business unit.”


The data points to the fact that Aurivo does not have a large pay gap. While this is a positive position, their overall female representation in the workforce is low, with 83% male and 17% female employees in the company. In recent years, Aurivo has increased female representation at a senior level and their executive team profile is now 37.5% female and 62.5% male. However, this is still showing the representation of women in the highest paying jobs is only 16%, while 84% of male staff are in the highest paid quartile.

Kerry Group

At 6.4%, the gender pay gap at Kerry Group is below the national average pay gap of 14%.The statistics in table 14 show there is still a large difference in the proportion of males and females in higher-paid positions, with only 37.7% of females in the highest-paid quartile compared to 62.3% of males.


All companies listed have a larger proportion of males in their high­est paying quartile compared to females. The number of females holding senior positions within organisations in the industry is considerably lower than males, which contributes to this result. Along with this, although the majority of companies are close to the national average of a 14% gender pay gap, there is still a significant gap between female and male employees, which, as a sector, we need to address. Many of the companies outlined have put strategic objectives and projects into place to help reduce this inequality as part of their reports.

For more information on how your organisation can improve its gender diversity and inclusion and diversity among staff, visit BordBia , 30% Club, and Gender Smart