Abstract: This paper focuses on the apparent gender pay gap in the current aviation industry and how equal the balance of male and female employees is within different companies. This paper considers the impact of gender imbalance in job roles and the impact it can have upon gender pay gaps. This will all be done through looking at cases of British Aviation Companies.
• Gender Pay Gap
• Diversity schemes
• Equal Pay
Gender equality and the gender pay gap are currently very hot topics of conversation in the media, especially with the new government legislation that states large businesses with over 250 employees are having to publish their gender pay gap figures (Jones, 2018). Some aviation companies have been called out within these reports for having high gender pay gaps. Having high figures can generate a lot of negativity for these companies making it important for them to explain to the public the reasoning’s behind why they are so high. This can also be off-putting for current employees or potential employees who may not believe that they will be entitled to equal opportunities upon working for one of these companies where there is apparent inequality.
Gender Equality has long been required within the workplace as it is a key place for promoting gender equality. With the workplace being such a fundamental part of someone’s day to day life, the influence it can have is and will remain to be very high on how people view gender equality. However, one of the main issues within generating gender equality is that in many businesses there is a high gender pay gap. Jones (2018) defines the gender pay gap as being the difference in the percentage of the earnings of men and women. In many cases males are earning more than their female colleagues even if their job requirements are the same.
EasyJet are one of Britain’s most well-known and used airlines and operates as a low cost airline. EasyJet is also one of the aviation companies to have released their gender pay gap report which stated that easyJet’s gender pay gap was very large with males earning on average 45.5% more than their female co-workers per hour (easyJet, 2018). EasyJet have had to address the reasoning’s behind this figure within their report due to the backlash that followed from this publication. EasyJet stated that this figure was so high because of the imbalance between the number of male and female pilots. 94% of easyJet’s pilots are male and pilots are the highest paid members of staff on £92,400 per year (easyJet, 2018).
Other airlines have also defended themselves by stating that their gender pay gaps are because of an imbalance between males and females in higher paid roles. This was reported in both Ryanair and British Airways outlining that there is an industry wide issue with recruitment of women into the higher paid roles. Lancia (2017) believes that one of the main issues surrounding why there are so few female pilots is because this role has become very stereotyped as a male’s job. Lancia (2017) states that because of this, barriers are generated that make it harder for females to excel within these roles.
EasyJet are however working to generate more gender equality within the pilot and managerial roles within the company. As the company have blamed this on their uneven ratio of male to female pilots, the company decided in 2015 to focus on ways to try and bring more female pilots into their business. Other aviation companies including British Airways have also done this in sectors where there is under representation of female workers. EasyJet (2018) have targeted the education system and STEM subjects through delivering talks to young adults from their female pilots to try to encourage more females to consider this as a future career. EasyJet (2018) also markets their pilot jobs using images and stories from female pilots which enables women to envision themselves in this role more than if they saw a male advertised.
This scheme as reported by easyJet (2018) has so far been a success and has seen a 12% increase in female pilots within a year of it starting. The target is for there to be a 20% increase by 2020 which based on current growth seems very attainable. Using this example, it can be seen that there is a chance for positive change to be made in the aviation industry to make it more equal between genders. However, as Lancia (2017) explored this issue it showed that this has been a longstanding issue in this industry and females have long been oppressed in pilot roles. This makes it arguable that more could have been done sooner to combat this issue prior to 2015 when airlines such as easyJet began to tackle this issue.
easyJet (2018). Our people. [online] Corporate.easyjet.com. Available at: http://corporate.easyjet.com/corporate-responsibility/our-people
[Accessed 25 Apr. 2018].
Jones, L. (2018). What is the gender pay gap?. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42918951
[Accessed 24 Apr. 2018].
Lancia, G 2017, 'We Can and Will Do It!" Female perceptions of pilot as a career', Collegiate Aviation Review, 35, 2, pp. 54-67, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 25 April 2018.