Image: easyJet media centre

easyJet has announced in a statement that its new CEO, Johan Lundgren, is to take a voluntary pay cut so that his salary matches that of his predecessor, Carolyn McCall. This means that his starting salary of £740,000 will be cut to £706,000. easyJet says that Lundgren’s remuneration package is identical to McCall’s “in all other respects”, including bonuses.

Lundgren said: “At easyJet we are absolutely committed to giving equal pay and equal opportunities for women and men. I want that to apply to everybody at easyJet and to show my personal commitment I have asked the Board to reduce my pay to match that of Carolyn’s when she was at easyJet.”

Lundgren went on to comment further on the gender pay gap at easyJet, which is currently 51.7% overall. He said: “I also want to affirm my own commitment to address the gender imbalance in our pilot community which drives our overall gender pay gap.”

easyJet says that its salaries are “collectively agreed and negotiated with trade unions” meaning that rates are the same for men and women in the same roles. However, as pilots are the highest paid easyJet employees, and only 5% of these pilots are female, there is a huge pay gap on paper.

The airline has set a target that 20% of its new pilots will be female by 2020. They hope to encourage more women to enter the profession with the Amy Johnson Initiative, established three years ago. The statement reports that easyJet is on track to hit its 2020 target and that 49 new female co-pilots were recruited in 2017. That is nearly a 50% increase on 2016. However, as only 4% of pilots worldwide are female, there is still a long way to go. 

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