This CEO cut his salary to match his female predecessor

Posted by
Emily Reynolds
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The pay gap is still a huge issue for women across the world – and this CEO is doing his bit to close it. 

From Big Little Lies to Michelle Williams and the women of the BBC, the conversation around the gender pay gap doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.  

Pay inequality isn’t just an issue in the entertainment and media worlds: women in all industries are consistently paid less than their male counterparts. Which makes it refreshing (if not frustratingly rare) that one CEO has tried to do something about it – by taking a pay cut of his own.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet since December 2017, took his job with a salary of £740,000 – now reduced to £706,00, the amount his predecessor Carolyn McCall was making. 

McCall is also being paid less than a male predecessor at her new job as chief executive at ITV. She earns £41,000 less than Adam Crozier, who filled the role before her.

Lundgren said easyJet was “committed” to providing equal pay and equal opportunity.

“I want that to apply to everybody at easyJet and to show my personal commitment I have asked the board to reduce my pay to match that of Carolyn’s when she was at easyJet,” he said

Just 4% of pilots worldwide are women

Lundgren also reaffirmed easyJet’s target to ensure a fifth of new recruits should be female by 2020. easyJet has one of the largest pay gaps (51.7%) of any company in the FTSE 100, largely because 94% of its employees are male pilots who earn more than (mostly female) cabin crew. Just 4% of all pilots worldwide are women.

“I also want to affirm my own commitment to address the gender imbalance in our pilot community which drives our overall gender pay gap,” he said. 

“I want us not just to hit our target that 20% of our new pilots should be female by 2020 but to go further than this in the future.”

Earlier this month, six male BBC stars agreed to take pay cuts after the ongoing pay row. Jeremy Vine, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Huw Edwards have all agreed to pay cuts to put them in line with female colleagues.

We hope that, one day, we live in a world where women are paid more, rather than depending on men nobly agreeing to cut their salaries. But for now, this is a pretty good start.

Image: Rex Features / iStock