Hiring more women and achieving gender equality are two very different things. Airlines need to acknowledge how few women make it into the c-suite and address the lack of mentorship opportunities for women trying to climb up the ladder.
EasyJet Plc hired more female pilots last year, taking the proportion in its cockpits to 5 percent, but that didn’t stop the gender pay gap widening as women were also added in lower-earning flight attendant jobs.
Male employees at Britain’s biggest discount carrier earned an average of 54.1 percent more than their female colleagues in 2018, a greater disparity than the previous year’s 51.7 percent.
Airlines tend to have a wide wage gap because high-paying pilot jobs are dominated by men, whereas women make up a bigger proportion of cabin crew — 71 percent at EasyJet — who receive much less. The industry says part of the problem is a lack of would-be female aviators.
The U.K. company has been vocal about its efforts to alter the balance, and said in a report that 18 percent of new-entrant pilots this year will be women as it seeks to lift the overall proportion to one-fifth by 2020. It now has 222 female captains and first officers, 1.7 times the number employed in 2015.
EasyJet had a female chief executive for seven years until Carolyn McCall left to run ITV Plc in early 2018, and more than a third of its management committee are women, including the chief operating and chief marketing officers. The proportion will reach 45 percent this summer Maaike de Bie, formerly of Royal Mail Plc, joins as legal counsel and company secretary.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Photo Credit: EasyJet celebrates International Women's Day. The carrier still struggled with a gender pay gap. EasyJet