EasyJet boss takes pay cut to show gender balance commitment

Former easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall
Photo: REX

EasyJet’s new chief executive is to take a pay cut to set his salary at the same level of that of his female predecessor, Carolyn McCall.

With a starting salary of £740,000, Johan Lundgren was being paid 5% more than McCall – now chief executive of ITV – in her final year, despite her being in the role for eight years. His salary will now be £706,000.

Lundgren, who started his new post on 1 December, had asked for the pay cut to affirm his “personal commitment to equal pay and equal opportunity” and to show his determination “to address the gender imbalance in our pilot community, which drives our overall gender pay gap”.

EasyJet has reported the third highest mean gender pay gap of any of the 715 employers that have disclosed their figures to the Government to date. Employers must publish their gender pay gap by 30 March (public sector) or 4 April (private sector).

Male employees are paid on average 52% more than females at the airline. The median gap was estimated at 46% – placing the company 15th on the list.

EasyJet’s gender pay imbalance has been put down to 94% of its pilots (1,407 of 1,493) being male, a proportion it says is not the worst in the industry.

The company said it was on track to meet its target of 20% of new pilots to be women by 2020, Lundgren adding that the budget carrier’s aim was to exceed the target in future years.

However, with more than 60% of EasyJet’s management and administrative staff being male, and given the amount of time it takes to train pilots, it could be the case that the airline will be able to address its pay imbalance on the ground more rapidly than in the air.

The news of the pay cut comes three days after senior male BBC presenters volunteered to accept pay cuts, with Radio 4 Today’s John Humphrys taking a salary of between £250,000 and £300,000, down from between £600,000 and £650,000.

3 Responses to EasyJet boss takes pay cut to show gender balance commitment

  1. Spike Turner 30 Jan 2018 at 11:14 am #

    It would be interesting to know if there is an equal pay disparity amongst easyJet’s pilots and also other roles such as cabin crew, ground staff and office staff.

    Ostensibly there is a shortage of female pilots, or are female pilots not getting the same opportunities? Pilots command high salaries compared to other roles and so this skews the gender pay gap, but does it tell the whole story in terms of inequality?

    The very fact that the new Chief Exec happens to be male and the previous Chief Exec happened to be female will also have worsened the “gender pay gap”. Unless I’m mistaken the required reporting does not take into consideration different roles?

    • Rob Moss
      Rob Moss 31 Jan 2018 at 8:14 am #

      There’s quite a bit of detail on easyJet’s gender pay gap here

      And this document shows the breakdown of the different roles…

      • Spike Turner 31 Jan 2018 at 3:27 pm #

        Thanks Rob, according to the document you’ve linked to (thanks again) female pilots and cabin crew are equally paid as salaries are collectively agreed – although there is a large gender pay gap because pilots happen to be more likely male. Which backs up my second para.

        I’d argue then, that the required gender pay gap reporting from the government is somewhat misleading. In this case, at first glance, a 52% gender pay gap would make people believe that females are being discriminated against in terms of pay, but actually they’re not as they’re paid exactly the same as their male counterparts.

        Just to be clear, my issue is with the required reporting by the government and nothing to do with your report above

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