EasyJet admits 50% pay gap between women and men citing dearth of female pilots

Overall, men account for 89.3 per cent of all employees in the highest pay quartile, while women account for 68.9 per cent of all employees in the lowest

Josie Co
Business Editor
Monday 27 November 2017 16:09
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EasyJet has a target for 20 per cent of new entrant pilots to be female by 2020
EasyJet has a target for 20 per cent of new entrant pilots to be female by 2020

Low-cost airline easyJet has become the latest corporation to publish figures on its gender pay gap, admitting that it awards its average UK-based female employee a salary that is more than 50 per cent lower than what it pays its average UK-based male employee, largely because so few pilots are women.

The company said that the average salary for a UK pilot is £92,400. But while it currently has 1,407 pilots in the UK who are male, it only has 86 female pilots, skewing the whole workforce. Members of UK cabin crew are paid an average annual salary of £24,800. Women account for 2,002 of all UK cabin crew, while 898 are male.

Overall, that means that men account for 89.3 per cent off all employees in the highest pay quartile at the airline in the UK, while women account for 68.9 per cent of all employees in the lowest. The mean gender pay gap calculated by hourly rate of pay is 51.7 per cent while the median is 45.5 per cent. For bonus pay, the gaps are 43.8 per cent and 32.2 per cent respectively.

The airline has addressed the problem of the pay divide repeatedly and has acknowledged that it is an industry problem. While this is the first time that it has reported on the gap under the Government’s new guidelines, it voluntarily published its gender pay gap in 2015 and 2016.

On Monday it reiterated its commitment to encouraging more women to become pilots through a programme called the Amy Johnson Initiative. It has a target for 20 per cent of new entrant pilots being female by 2020 and recently named an Airbus A320 jet after the pioneering female aviator.

EasyJet is also one of only a handful of companies in the FTSE 100 index of the UK’s biggest publicly listed companies that has a female chief executive. Dame Carolyn McCall is, however, due to step down from that role later this week.

Few major UK companies have published their gender pay gap ahead of next April’s Government deadline to do so and critics have said that even though the requirement is a move in the right direction, it might not facilitate real change because the data that has to be shared may not be granular enough.

Last week the Bank of England revealed a gender pay gap of over 24 per cent between the average wage of its male and female staff, also citing a lack of women in top positions.

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