29/01/2018 14:40 GMT

EasyJet Boss Voluntarily Takes £34k Pay Cut In Bid Tackle Gender Pay Gap

The overall gender pay gap at easyJet is 51.7%.

EasyJet’s chief executive is voluntarily taking a £34,000 pay cut so that his salary matches that of his predecessor in a bid to address the gender pay gap.

Johan Lundgren, who took over as chief executive of the budget airline on December 1, will see his salary slashed from £740,000 to £706,000.

The rest of his paypacket will also be the same as his predecessor, Carolyn McCall, who left last summer to become chief executive at ITV.

EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren voluntarily took a £34,000 pay cut to tackle gender pay gap.

British companies are under heightened scrutiny to address the gender pay gap, with the BBC facing criticism for paying some women less than men in equivalent jobs.

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.

He said: “I also want to affirm my own commitment to address the gender imbalance in our pilot community which drives our overall gender pay gap. 

“EasyJet has already gone further than other airlines in trying to attract more women into a career as a pilot.

“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.”

Lundgren was previously deputy chief at travel group TUI.

McCall is one of just six female CEOs among Britain’s biggest 100 companies.

A report last year by the High Pay Centre and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that male CEOs in the FTSE 100 earned on average £2.1 million more than women in 2016 and were more likely to be called David than be female.

The overall gender pay gap at easyJet is 51.7%.

The company attributes this difference in earnings to the “massive gender imbalance” in the pilot community.

EasyJet said on average, male employees earned twice as much as women but that was driven by the fact that 94% of its pilots were men.

Only about 4% of commercial pilots worldwide are female.

EasyJet said they recognised “we need to do better”. The budget carrier has set a target that 20% of new pilots should be female by 2020, up from 6% in 2015.