easyJet CEO Takes Wage Cut To Promote Equal Pay

January 29, 2018

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easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren has taken a voluntary pay cut to match the salary of his predecessor Carolyn McCall.

McCall, who left easyJet at the end of November to join UK broadcaster ITV, had a base salary of GBP£706,000 (USD$990,000), but Lundgren started in December on £740,000.

“At easyJet we are absolutely committed to giving equal pay and equal opportunity for women and men,” Lundgren said in a statement. “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.”

easyJet said all other aspects of his remuneration package are identical to McCall’s before she left.

The low cost airline said its overall gender pay gap is 51.7 percent, but that was due to the fact that most of its pilots are men, and pilot salaries are much higher than other employees. The carrier’s pilots are 94 percent male, the airline added.

“This is not about unequal pay. easyJet's pilots (and cabin crew) salaries and other pay is collectively agreed and negotiated with the trade unions, which means that the pay rates are exactly the same for men and women.”

Only about 4 percent of the world’s commercial pilots are women, with easyJet slightly higher at 5 percent. The airline says it has a progressive culture to enabled female pilots to progress more easily than at other airlines, with over a third of easyJet's female pilots already Captains.

The airline has a 2020/20 target where 20 percent of new pilots will be women by 2020, up from 6 percent in 2015.