Love/Hate star Tom Vaughan-Lawlor has spoken out about the obstacles faced by women in acting saying how he has seen first hand how his female colleagues in the industry have been treated differently.

The actor, known for his role as Nidge in the crime drama, was speaking at the Waking The Feminists event in Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. He told the audience; "Over the years it became clearer and clearer to me that acting is a different profession for women.

"Besides the visible imbalances in terms of pay and available roles, the focus on ageing and weight... there are a myriad of subtle ways that women in rehearsal rooms and on sets are deliberately or otherwise made to feel less.

"Once you open your eyes to it, you can see it everywhere."

Tom, who is married to fellow actor Claire Cox, said that his wife had pointed out how differently men and women were treated in the trade years ago, but he hadn't believe her at first; "She told me ‘you have no idea how hard it is to be heard in such a masculine environment’. I laughed it off at the time and teased her for not being tough enough,” he said.

The actor continued; "When you realise the deep profound effects not only on those you love but also colleagues that inspire you and make you want to become an artist in the first place, it is shameful if you don’t at least add your voice to the call for change,” he said.

"The one thing I have resolved to do is to strive to be active in support rather than simply standing on the sidelines playing lip service to an ideal, to be more educated about the intricacies of gender inequality and to use that knowledge to play a part in making real change happen," he added.

Via Irish Independent