Sonya Lennon launches month-long campaign to highlight the gender pay gap

13th November designated ‘#WorkEqual Day of Action’ by Dress for Success Dublin

Dress for Success Dublin, the charity that supports women to enter the workforce and establish sustainable careers, has announced details of its third annual #WorkEqual campaign, which kicks off tomorrow (01.11.18) and runs throughout the month of November.

The campaign highlights the gender pay gap – the disparity in the average hourly earnings of men and women – through public events, political engagements and awareness-raising activities.

As part of the 2018 campaign, Dress for Success is designating Tuesday, 13th November, as a #WorkEqual day of action to highlight Ireland’s gender pay gap.

The organisation is also launching its new ‘Pay Disclosure Pioneers’ initiative, which will see a group of leading businesses committing to early pay disclosure and advancement towards workplace equality before legal requirement under Ireland’s new gender pay gap laws.

Announcing details of the campaign today, Sonya Lennon – designer, businesswoman and founder of Dress for Success Dublin – said: “Ireland’s gender pay gap is 14 per cent.  This means women in Ireland effectively stop earning, relative to men, in mid-November each year.

“This year, we’re designating 13th November as the day on which the gender pay gap kicks into effect.  In essence, women then work for free for the rest of the year.  So we’re calling on people across the country to take action on the 13th to help us raise awareness of the gender pay gap.  You can show your support through an online post using our #WorkEqual hashtag or by coming along to one of the events we’re organising.

“We’re also encouraging workplaces to have conversations about pay as part of our day of action.  If we don’t face up to the fact that a pay gap exists, we can’t address it.  So talk to others about what they earn and how they negotiate their salaries.  Think about what your own place of work is doing to promote equality.

“With our new Pay Disclosure Pioneers initiative, Dress for Success Dublin is working with a cohort of companies that want to drive towards gender equality by publishing pay data before mandatory implementation commences in 18 months.  Together, we will address the numbers and develop the strategy to move towards equality in the workplace.

“The gender pay gap is linked to a wide range of cultural, legal, social and economic factors.  It is a much more complex issue than the concept of ‘equal pay for equal work’.  To truly tackle the gender pay gap, we need to look at cultural conditioning and stereotypes, childcare supports, equal parental leave, salary negotiation skills, and the barriers to women’s progression at all levels of their career.

“The Irish Government has committed to introducing legislation to oblige companies to disclose their gender pay gap, which is a welcome move and something that has worked well in the UK.  This November, for the third year in a row, we’ll be engaging with our corporate supporters, members of the public and politicians at national, European and local authority levels to raise awareness of the pay gap and the measures we can take to achieve true workplace equality.”

Programme of Events

On 13th November, for its ‘day of action’, Dress for Success Dublin will:

  • Have a presence in Leinster House throughout the afternoon, where the organisation will be inviting TDs and Senators to publicly demonstrate their support for ending the gender pay gap.
  • Stage a ‘Banter’ panel discussion at the Liquor Rooms in Dublin city centre at 6.30pm. Hosted by Jim Carroll, this event will see Sonya Lennon, Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee, journalist Mark Paul and activist Deborah Somorin putting forth their proposals on how best to end the gender pay gap.
  • Run an online awareness campaign throughout the day, encouraging members of the public nationwide to show their support for ending the gender pay gap.

Also in November, Dress for Success will be travelling to Brussels to brief MEPs and European Commission representatives on the #WorkEqual campaign; and to research best-practice policies that have been implemented in other EU member states.

The organisation is also planning briefing sessions with local authorities as part of the 2018 #WorkEqual campaign.

Further information is available at:


Contact: Darragh McGirr / Martina Quinn, Alice PR & Events, Tel: 01-5582151 / 086-2599369 / 087-6522033, Email:


Notes to Editor

Dress for Success Dublin is a not-for-profit, founded by Sonya Lennon in 2011.  It is an affiliate of the global Dress for Success organisation, which is active in 23 countries.  Dress for Success Dublin promotes the economic independence of women by providing career development services and a network for women who need support to (re)enter the workforce.  The organisation also advocates for equal opportunities for women in the workplace – through its annual #WorkEqual and International Women’s Day campaigns.  Since Dress for Success Dublin was established, it has supported 1,700 women into work.

Further information is available at or on Twitter / Instagram / Facebook, @DFSDublin, #WorkEqual.