The gender pay gap at easyJet has widened despite the hiring of more female pilots, according to the latest data.
Women at the budget airline earn 47.9% less than men, the figures taken from a snapshot in April 2018 show, making it the widest pay gap among firms with at least 5,000 employees.
easyJet faced criticism when gender pay gap reporting first came into force, after it revealed a discrepancy of 45.5%.
Airlines are among the worst offenders when it comes to high gender pay gaps. This is largely due to the pilot workforce across the aviation industry as a whole being 95% male. Pilots command a higher salary relative to other employees.
The company’s latest report on the issue, which is now available to view on the government’s website, shows that women earn 52p for every £1 that men earn when comparing median hourly wages. Their median hourly wage is 47.9% lower than men’s.
When comparing mean hourly wages, women’s mean hourly wage is 54.1% lower than men’s.
The report also shows the disparity between types of jobs women occupy at the company, with women in just 10.6% of the highest paid jobs and 72.2% of the lowest paid jobs.
Bonus pay is also affected, as women’s mean bonus pay is 57.8% lower than men’s.
In 2018, newly-appointed easyJet chief executive, Johan Lundgren, voluntarily took a £34,000 pay cut to match the salary of his predecessor, Carolyn McCall, following criticism about the company’s pay gap.
The airline now has 222 female pilots, up from 128 – a 73% increase from 2015, when it began its drive to improve the gender balance among its pilots.
easyJet said it expects to attract 18% female new-entrant pilots this year.
In a statement, Lundgren said the company was on track to reach its 2020 target of 20% new female pilots.
He said the current gender imbalance in its pilot and crew teams, which make up more than 80% of its UK employees, is the biggest single factor influencing the pay gap.
“As this is a structural issue we know it will take some years for our gender pay gap to materially improve but we are absolutely focused on improving it in the coming years,” he added.
“We want to reflect the diversity of the customers we fly and the communities in which we operate – we think this makes good business sense as well as being the right thing to do.”
The deadline for companies with 250 or more employees to submit their gender pay gap data to the government under new rules is this weekend.