Johan Lundgren, the new chief executive of EasyJet, will take a pay cut to match the salary of his female predecessor, the European airline announced Monday. The former CEO, Carolyn McCall, left the company after eight years with a salary of £706,000 (approximately $990,730) - a gap of almost five percent.
EasyJet, the Luton, England-based carrier, had set Lundgren's starting salary at approximately $1.04 million; a raise of almost $48,000.
The gender pay gap comes in because there are far fewer female pilots than male pilots in the industry as a whole - only 4% of commercial pilots are women, and only 5% of EasyJet's pilots are women.
Mr Lundgren, 51, began his role as chief executive on December 1 previous year, joining from tour operator Tui.
So let's call this an important start - both in message and in action - aimed at keeping the critical conversation going.
Mr Lundgren's remuneration package - including bonuses and long-term incentive payments - is "identical" to Carolyn's, the airline said.
Although salaries for airline jobs are collectively bargained by unions and the pay for men and women is equal, the small number of women in high-paying positions like pilot have caused easyJet's gender pay gap to balloon to 51.7 percent.
Lundgren previously was a deputy chief executive at travel group Tui. This is because the vast majority - 94% - of its pilots, who earn far more than cabin crew and other employees, are male.
EasyJet, a company that is listed in stock market index FTSE 100, is one that has already published its data.
EasyJet said they recognised "we need to do better".
EasyJet has pledged to address the gap in its own ranks by recruiting more female pilots - up to 20 percent by 2020. EasyJet added that they recruited 49 female co-pilots into their new entrant program in 2017; a 48-percent increase from the year before.
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