Irish Product Industry Report Launched by Minister: Concern Rises Over Gender Gap

12 October 2016

Some 60% of Irish tech workers received a pay rise in the past year, 39% of tech workers have a master’s degree, and there is a stark salary gap between men and women in the tech industry in Ireland: All these have been revealed in the UXDX Product Design & Development Industry Report, published today.

The report is based on almost 400 high-quality responses from those working in the product development industry.

Watch Rory Madden from UXDX present the summary and breakdown of the Report here

The report’s findings were officially launched by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor at Bank of Ireland, Grand Canal Square in Dublin’s Silicon Docks this morning where the minister welcomed the report.


Left to Right: Fiona Murphy, Founder and Director, Frontend, Rory Madden, CIO, UXDX, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Catherine Madden, Project Director, UXDX, Keith Murphy, Bank of Ireland Business Banking - Grand Canal Square

Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Innovation & Innovation said: “If we think back to Celtic crosses, engraved brooches and the most spectacular design of all, Newgrange in Co. Meath, you have to ask; was that design, or was that engineering? I think it was a bit of both. It’s inherent in our DNA and our Irish, Celtic psyche, so that is why I’m delighted to be here.

“This report, the Project Design and Development Industry Report 2016, is very important, and I read it with interest. There is much valuable information in it that we will need to work with in the Department, and also to work with the design industry.”

UXDX conference director Catherine Madden explained: “There are plenty of statistics and studies to tell the big-picture story of Ireland’s tech scene, but this new survey offers a rare snapshot of what the industry is like for the developers and designers working at the coalface of product development in Ireland.


“60% of respondents received pay-rises of up to 20%, and the average raise was 7%.

Meanwhile, a startling 93% either feel very secure or relatively secure in their employment. These suggest that the industry in Ireland is undergoing something of a boom.

“This success comes with a caveat, though. The global tech industry has no shortage of anecdotes about the under-representation of women, and the results of our survey have a lot to say about how this operates in Ireland. The fact that 64% of respondents to the survey were male tells its own story. The findings reveal glaring pay gaps between the ages of 27-35, and 36-39, where women designers’ pay falls far behind men’s – and developers are so underrepresented that even a sample of nearly 400 respondents couldn’t gather sufficient data from women in this field.”

The UXDX Product Design & Development Industry Report also analyses the educational level of those working in the industry, with 39% reaching master’s degree level and 36% leaving education upon receiving an honours degree. It concludes, however, that age is a far better indicator of salary than education, with self-taught respondents faring no worse than those with master’s or PhDs. Financial services is the most lucrative industry, with an average salary of €67,500.

Catherine Madden said: “61% of respondents were Irish and 39% were multinational. While multinationals get the bulk of the press, there is a strong indigenous undercurrent in the Irish tech scene at the moment. Meanwhile, the top three perks that employees appreciate are remote working, flexible hours and a contributory pension. In terms of non-monetary benefits, tech workers want to feel they have a meaningful role in work, have a work-life balance, and want career progression.”

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “One of the most interesting facts I read is that it contributes to the wider enterprise base, with over 80% of Irish firms citing the importance of design to innovation, customer service and profit. When you read numbers like that you realise that this needs to be pushed up on the department’s agenda and on our innovation agenda.

Key Findings

  • 60% of respondents received a pay rise in the past year.
  • The average pay rise was 7%
  • 64% of respondents were male
  • 61% of respondents were Irish, 39% multinational
  • 39% of respondents had reached master’s degree level, 36% honours degree, and 2% PhD
  • Financial services is the most lucrative industry, with an average salary of €67,500
  • Age is a far better indicator of salary than education
  • 85% of respondents are full-time permanent employees
  • 93% feel either completely or relatively secure in their jobs.

About UXDX:

Date/venue: RDS, Dublin, 2 November 2016.
Conference: UXDX - User Experience, Developer Experience

Tickets available now

Full lineup on

UXDX is supported by: the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation,, FR Kelly, Optimal Workshop, Viatel, Next Generation, Dublin UX and the Digital Hub.

For further information: Catherine Madden, director, +353 1 598 1838 [email protected]