Equal pay between men and women is increasingly under scrutiny in large companies.
Johan Lundgren, the former Tui executive who took over from Carolyn McCall as chief executive of the low-cost carrier easyJet last year, has voluntarily cut his salary in an effort to promote equal pay for women.
The Swedish national started work in December on a base salary of £740,000 (€839,000). McCall, who left the company at the end of November to join the UK broadcaster ITV, had been receiving GBP£706,000. This was an issue that first caused controversy when it was revealed last November.
“At easyJet we are absolutely committed to giving equal pay and equal opportunity for women and men,” he 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.”
All other aspects of Lundgren’s remuneration package are identical to McCall’s before she left, easyJet said.
Gender pay gap
The carrier admits that its overall gender pay gap is 51.7% but adds that this is because most of its pilots are men, and pilots’ salaries are much higher than those of other employees. Its pilots are 94% male.
“This is not about unequal pay,” it said. “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.”
Around the world, just 4% of the world’s commercial pilots are women. easyJet says it has a progressive culture to enable female pilots to progress more easily than at other airlines, and it has a target for 20% of its new pilots to be women by 2020, up from 6% in 2015.