EasyJet chief cuts salary as airline reveals 52% gender pay gap

EasyJet's new male chief executive has cut his annual salary to that of his female predecessor, citing the low-priced airline's commitment to equal pay, the group said Monday.

EasyJet is committed to equal pay policy and equal opportunity for women and men, he said. The former CEO, Carolyn McCall, left the company after eight years with a salary of £706,000 (approximately $990,730) - a gap of almost five percent.

In stark contrast to Qantas boss Alan Joyce, whose pay packet almost doubled to A$25 million ($27.5m) a year ago, Lundgren requested a pay cut when taking the reigns at British airline EasyJet. "I want us not just to hit our target that 20% of our new pilots should be female by 2020 but to go further than this in the future".

EasyJet, the Luton, England-based carrier, had set Lundgren's starting salary at approximately $1.04 million; a raise of almost $48,000.

EasyJet said in a statement that the new CEO's remuneration would be identical to McCall's in all other respects. Out of the 704 employers who had shared pay figures so far, easyJet had the third-largest mean gender pay gap.

She was appointed dame for services to the aviation industry in 2016.

A small fraction of commercial airline pilots are women.

But the company said: "We recognize we need to do better". That is why three years ago easyJet launched our Amy Johnson Initiative to encourage more women to enter the pilot profession.

Last year, the business recruited 49 female new entrant co-pilots, a 48 per cent increase on the previous year and takes the proportion of easyJet new entrant female pilots to 13 per cent.

EasyJet has pledged to address the gap in its own ranks by recruiting more female pilots - up to 20 percent by 2020. This is because 94 per cent of pilots are male, a gender imbalance it has attributed to a "deep-seated view in society that being a pilot is a male job".

  • Joey Payne