EasyJet CEO cuts his salary to match female predecessor's
- EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren announced a voluntary reduction in his salary to match his female predecessor's pay, the company announced. In a written statement, he expressed his commitment to gender-based pay equality and a hiring increase of female pilots by 20%. Before his pay cut, Lundgren earned £740,000 a year and Carolyn McCall, £706,000.
- EasyJet has a gender pay gap of 51.7%, according to their announcement. The large gap isn't caused by pay disparity, the company claims, but instead is the result of 94% of pilots being male at the company and in the industry as a whole.
- Women make up 5% of all pilots at the airline, while the national rate in the U.K. is 4%, EasyJet says, though more than a third of its female pilots reached the rank of captain.
EasyJet's CEO took an unprecedented step by cutting his pay to his predecessor's level. It's an act reminiscent of Saleforce's bold move to close the wage gap in its workforce. The software firm paid a total of $6 million to close the gap immediately.
But the EasyJet announcement brings the complexity of the issue to the fore. Pay equality is nigh impossible to truly reach if there is not also an equality in leadership positions (which, naturally, tend to be higher paid). Employers, especially those in the affluent tech industry, have to consider the entire pipeline in their quest for pay fairness. Some companies, like Silicon Valley Bank, are removing names from resumes to avoid bias based on race or gender. Others are turning to data to consider how employees are being promoted and given raises; but generally, more companies are focusing on inclusion to ensure people of all backgrounds remain and grow with their organizations.
States, like Oregon, and municipalities, like San Francisco, have banned salary history questions in interviews to keep employers from basing new hires' wages on previous earnings. Proponents of such laws say the practice of asking discriminates against women because it can keep them earning less than men in comparable jobs throughout their careers. Amazon recently banned the practice for all of its positions, also.