Virgin Atlantic reports 60.9% mean gender pay gap

Virgin Atlantic Airways has announced a mean hourly rate differential gender pay gap of 60.9% for 2021, which has narrowed from 66.4% in 2020.

The airline’s median hourly rate differential gender pay gap this year was 41.5%, a decrease from 51.6% in 2020. According to the organisation, this is due to 81.3% of men being in the upper pay quartile and 68.4% of women in the lower pay quartile.

Virgin Atlantic’s mean annual bonus gap in 2021 was 88.3%, an increase from 61.4% in 2020 and the median bonus gap was 27.8%, a decrease from 44.3% last year. Almost half (47.9%) of women received a bonus in 2021 compared to 23.2% of men, whereas in 2020, 94.3% of women and 90.7% of men received one.

The company’s chief people officer Estelle Hollingsworth commented that the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and the effect of furloughing workers has “heavily skewed” figures for the 2020/2021 reporting year, and while the pay gap outlined is higher than what the business would like it to be, the figure only encapsulates 17% of staff and is a disproportionate snapshot.

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She explained that despite aviation remaining an “exciting and dynamic” sector to work in, it still retains a historic gender imbalance in highly paid roles such as flight deck and engineering, which has a greater effect on the pay gap. However, the airline is committed to being a fair, diverse and inclusive employer to attract the “best talent” in the industry, irrespective of gender.

“We still have work to do in reducing our gender pay gap and know that the initiatives we have in place will create a more balanced workplace, but this can’t happen overnight. Despite the most challenging year in our history, we remain determined that we have measures in place to help our existing female workforce thrive and build a diverse pipeline of talent to help narrow our gender pay gap,” Hollingsworth added.