DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair (RYA.I) has reported an average gender pay gap for its British-based staff of 67 percent, the widest among large airlines that have had to disclose the difference in earnings under new regulations.
British-based employers are under heightened scrutiny over their pay structures and companies with more than 250 staff have to report their gender pay gap by April 4 to the Government Equalities Office.
Compared with other airlines that operate in the United Kingdom, Ryanair’s mean pay gap outstripped low-cost rival easyJet (EZJ.L), where it stood at 51.7 percent, and British Airways (ICAG.L), where it was 35 percent.
The aviation industry has a particular issue with gender equality as the vast majority of pilots are men. Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, said only eight out of its 554 pilots based in the United Kingdom are women.
A majority of its 1,182 UK staff that are classified as being in either the lower middle or lower wage band are also women, Ryanair said on Tuesday.
Ryanair, whose largest base is at London’s Stansted Airport, employs just under 10 percent of its staff in the United Kingdom. Its management and administration staff are largely based in its home market of Ireland.
“Like all airlines, our gender pay in the UK is materially affected by the relatively low numbers of female pilots in the aviation industry,” Ryanair said in a presentation of the data published on its website.
“In recent years, the number of female pilots applying to Ryanair has increased and we are committed to developing this welcome trend. It is a feature of the aviation industry that more males than females choose to enter the pilot profession.”
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Mark Potter