EasyJet CEO Takes Wage Cut To Promote Equal Pay

Easyjet's new chief executive Johan Lundgren has offered to reduce his salary to match what his predecessor, Carolyn McCall, was on.

Mr Lundgren requested that his £740,000 salary is reduced to match that of his predecessor, Dame Carolyn McCall, who earned £706,000 when she left the airline in November.

EasyJet, the Luton, England-based carrier, had set Lundgren's starting salary at approximately $1.04 million; a raise of almost $48,000.

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. "I also want to affirm my own commitment to address the gender imbalance in our pilot community, which drives our overall gender pay gap".

In stark contrast to Qantas boss Alan Joyce, whose pay packet almost doubled to A$25 million ($27.5m) a year ago, Lundgren requested a pay cut when taking the reigns at British airline EasyJet.

So let's call this an important start - both in message and in action - aimed at keeping the critical conversation going. In all other respects, his remuneration package is the same as McCall's.

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The gender pay gap in EasyJet is now 51.7%, but the budget airline says this is not because of unequal pay for women.

McCall left EasyJet at the end of 2017 to take up the chief executive role at United Kingdom broadcaster ITV. Pilots make up a large proportion of easyJet's employees, they are paid more highly than other roles and 94 per cent of them are male.

EasyJet, a company that is listed in stock market index FTSE 100, is one that has already published its data.

The company has set itself the goal of hiring women to 20% of new pilot jobs by 2020. Only 5% of EasyJet's pilots are women.

EasyJet said they recognised "we need to do better".

Lundgren also announced he will recruit more female pilots, with the aim of hitting 20 per cent by 2020.

  • Adam Floyd