A new report shows that discount airline Ryanair
has a gender pay gap of 72 percent, the worst in the airline industry and
the seventh worst of any company in the UK. The reason? About 99 percent
of its pilots are men, with women mostly holding lower-paid cabin crew positions.
As the company lays the groundwork for expansion across Europe, now is the time to force CEO Michael O’Leary (pictured above) to do better.
Other airline companies like Easyjet have made a commitment to recruit female pilots. We’re calling on Ryanair to follow their lead and do the same.
Tell Ryanair to put more women in the cockpit and close its gender gap now.
Ryanair has refused to take responsibility for the gap, claiming it's just “a feature of the aviation industry”. But that hasn’t stopped Easyjet from more than doubling its percentage of female new recruits since 2015, and pledging to further narrow its 45 percent pay gap by 2020.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has actively promoted a sexist corporate culture. Its chair David Bonderman had to resign from Uber last year after making derogatory jokes about women (and if Uber thinks you're sexist, you've got a problem!). As recently as 2014, the airline was selling calendars picturing female flight attendants in bikinis.
But there's hope for change. O'Leary cares about his company's public image more than ever these days, which is why we stand a huge chance of succeeding if we act right now. Just since the beginning of this year, the notorious anti-union climate change skeptic unveiled plans to lower Ryanair’s carbon footprint and made the historic decision to recognise a pilots’ union. Those bikini calendars were discontinued because the public pressured Ryanair to change. Let's put that pressure on them now to give female pilots the opportunities they deserve.
Ryanair: Get with the times. Commit to hiring more women and closing the gap.