Worst gender pay gap in the airline industry – Ryanair named and shamed

Figures released by Ryanair have shown that the median hourly pay for female UK staff is 71.8% lower than for male employees. Female employees also receive 3% lower bonus pay.

The figures are the worst in the airline industry, with female employees filling just 3% of the top quarter of earners in the airline workforce.

The figures have even outstripped those of EasyJet whose 45% pay gap difference has attracted criticism. Ryanair’s figures are among the most unbalanced in any other employment sector, and approximately four times the UK average.

Ryanair stated that the median hourly pay for Ryanair’s UK employees is 71.8% lower, and 67% lower for mean difference. Bonus pay for women is 3% lower, with a mean difference of 21%.

Figures show that most of Ryanair’s management and administration are based in Ireland and were excluded from the figures. The Chief Executive Michael O’Leary, along with the all-male senior management board also reside in Ireland. Over 95% of all UK based employees are pilots or cabin crew.

Of the UK based 554 pilots, just 8 are female, with women making up 66% of the low-paid cabin crew.

A spokesperson from Ryanair stated that like all airlines, the gender pay in the UK reflects the low number of female pilots, which is widespread over the entire aviation industry.

While recent years have shown that there are more female pilots applying for work with Ryanair, it is a valid point that more males than females choose to enter the profession of pilots. Ryanair says that it is committed to encouraging the trend for women to become pilots.

The company has yet to reveal the steps they are taking to recruit more females into higher paid positions.

In second place for the worst gender pay gap figures is Jet2, with a median pay gap of 49.7%, and mean of 53.5%.

The best pay gap figures are for British Airways who have a median of 10% (mean of 35%). These figures are likely due to a higher paid staff, and a long-standing crew. They are also due to a large non-flying UK based staff.

One of the first airlines to report gender pay gap figures has pledged that as from 2020 at least one in five of their ne pilots will be female. Johan Lundgren, the new chief executive, took a £34,000 pay cut in order to match the salary paid to his predecessor, Carolyn McCall. Lundgren stated that he had taken the cut as a personal commitment to attempt the imbalance in the airline industry.

Hen the staff of EasyJet were interviewed, the results showed that most of the male pilots had already decided to become pilots by the age of 11, while most female pilots had never been encouraged to follow piloting as a career until they had left school.

EasyJet has recently announced a partnership with Girlguiding, which includes sponsorship of the aviation badge for Brownies.


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