Does your work pay women fairly?Does your work pay women fairly?
Does your work pay women fairly?

Gender pay gap in Luton: 11 companies failing to close the gap, including Tui and easyJet

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Many employers across Luton are still failing to close the gender pay gap, new figures show.

April 4 was the deadline for employers across Great Britain to submit their 2022/23 gender pay gap reports to the UK government. Returns from more than 10,000 companies and organisations across the country show four out of five (79.4%) still pay men more than women on average. The results also reveal gender pay gaps remain at many employers in Luton, such as Tui, easyJet and Wizz Air.

Only workplaces with 250 or more employees have to submit a gender pay gap report. The gap is calculated as the difference between median hourly earnings of men and women, as a proportion of men’s earnings. It excludes overtime and bonuses.

Not every employer failed to close the gender pay gap last year. The figures show more than 800 across Great Britain reported no gender pay gap at all, representing 7.9% of employers. Some of the big names where men and women earned the same on average include the British Film Institute, English National Opera, Department for Work and Pensions, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

These include: Blackpool Pleasure Beach Limited, the British Film Institute and English National Opera. More than 1,300 (12.7% of employers) across Great Britain were also found to be paying women more on average than men. Active Luton and Pareto Law Limited are among the firms in the town which pay their female employees more than men.

A statement from TUI said: "At TUI we strive to be a diverse and inclusive business and we recognise that gender pay is a broad and complex area. Our policy is always to recruit the best possible person for the role regardless of gender. However, historic attitudes towards specific roles such as pilots and engineers; as well as the technology and senior management sectors have resulted in a lack of female representation in these areas."

They added: “We remain committed to raising awareness within the retail and airline industry, on all aspects of diversity and inclusion, as well as effecting change in our own business."

While Wizz Air said that it provides equal pay for colleagues in the same role performing the same job. The company explained: “However – and in common with other airlines – our gender pay gap is impacted by gender imbalance in our management team and the flight deck, as a result of the relatively low number of female pilots and male cabin crew."

It added: "We recognise the industry has a long way to go to tackle this gender imbalance, which is why we have a number of programmes to increase female representation across all areas of our organisation, in particular in the flight deck. These include our Cabin Crew to Captain Programme, which supports cabin crew to obtain a Commercial Pilot License, and our Wizz Air Pilot Academy, which offers a more financially accessible path for aspiring pilots with little to no previous aviation experience to obtain a Commercial Pilot License."

A spokesperson for easyJet said: "We have always been clear that our gender pay gap is not a result of unequal pay, but due to the gender imbalance in different communities and the biggest single factor that continues to influence it is the gender representation in our pilot community, which is predominantly male. This is a known, industry-wide challenge that will take many years to reverse and one which we have been actively trying to tackle for a number of years." The airline explained its initiatives to rectify this gap.

The statement continued: "Through our work to date we have already more than doubled the number of female pilots flying with easyJet, but we acknowledge that there is still work to do and so we continue to focus on this to create long-term, sustainable change." They explained that activities like the Pilot School Visits Programme are hoping the firm to raising awareness and driving diversity through recruitment campaigns and attracting more women to the career.

It added: "Most recently we partnered with the organisation Fantasy Wings to fund places on their programme to launch young women and young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities into a career in aviation."

How does your workplace compare? Here we list employers with the biggest gender pay gaps in Luton. You can also search for an employer’s gender pay gap using the interactive table on our sister site,