Airline CEO takes pay cut to support gender equality

Posted February 01, 2018

The CEO of easyJet has revealed his decision to take a £34,000 pay cut to match his predecessor's salary.

Lundgren was reportedly given a £740,000 ($AUD 1.29m) salary when he joined the company, while McCall was believed to be earning £706,000 ($AUD 1.23m) when she left her role in November 2017.

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

Lundgren said that easyJet was "absolutely committed" to giving equal pay and opportunity to men and women, adding that he asked the board to reduce his salary.

The UK airline acknowledges that its gender pay gap - the difference in the average amounts earned by men and women across its business - is now 52%.

Johan Lundgren, the new chief executive of European carrier EasyJet, announced Monday he will take a $48,000 pay cut to match the salary of his female predecessor.

So let's call this an important start - both in message and in action - aimed at keeping the critical conversation going. Like all airlines pilots make up a large proportion of easyJet's employees, they are paid more highly than our other communities and, most materially, 94% of them are male.

EasyJet's staggering imbalance is driven less by men and women in the same positions making different salaries than it is by the fact the company has more women in low-paying jobs, such as flight attendants.

Lundgren previously was a deputy chief executive at travel group Tui.

A small fraction of commercial airline pilots are women.

"We recognize we need to do better", the company said in a statement. EasyJet has set itself a target that a fifth of all new pilots recruited should be female by 2020, up from 6% in 2015 and 13% now.

Lundgren said: "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".