youngest pilot, age, female, woman, easyjet, low-cost, experience, Kate McWilliams, airlines, aviation, recruitment, employment, profession, initiative, amy johnson, pay, gender, gap, percentage
Photo: easyJet

easyJet makes “good progress” recruiting female pilots

It now has 222 female pilots, up from 128 in 2015 – a 73% rise from when it began to accelerate its recruitment of female pilots.

easyJet says it has made “good progress” in its efforts to address the gender balance among its pilots and is on track to attract 18% female new entrants this year, up 3% on 2018.

The low-cost carrier says it recognised the gender imbalance in the pilot profession in 2015 and since then has worked to encourage more women to become pilots through what it calls its Amy Johnson Initiative named after the pioneering pre-war British pilot.

In 2015, when only 6% of easyJet’s new entrant pilots were female, it set a target that by 2020 20% of the new entrant pilots the airlines attracts should be female.

It now expects to attract 18% female new entrant pilots this year and says it is confident the 20% target will be achieved in 2020.

The carrier employed 128 female pilots in 2015 and today it is 222, a 73% rise in just over three years. It predicts that “many more are due to join the airline in the coming months and years”.

Board roles
easyJet is also prioritising gender diversity in the executive management team, saying it recognises its benefits. It recently appointed Julie Southern and Anastassia Lauterbach to the company board, which is now 33% female.

The equivalent for its airline management board is 36%, with women currently taking the roles of the chief operating officer, chief marketing officer, chief communications officer and chief people officer.

This will rise to 45% this summer when Maaike De Bie, highly rated general counsel for the Royal Mail, joins the airline as group legal counsel and company secretary.

easyJet has also pledged to narrow its gender pay gap, which for 2017-18 was reported as 47.9% as the median figure, and 54.1% as the mean number. This, it explained, is “strongly influenced by the salaries and gender make-up of its pilot community who account for over a quarter of its UK employees”.

Related stories

easyJet’s Swedish CEO takes wage cut

Flybe becomes FlyShe for more women in aviation

Airline to recruit 50% female engineers