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CBS Local — EasyJet’s newly hired male CEO is starting his tenure with the airline by lowering his own salary. Johan Lundgren says the move is part of his company’s commitment to eliminating the gender pay gap in society.

Lundgren’s predecessor, Carolyn McCall, was paid an annual salary of $993,546 to lead the budget airline. EasyJet, the Luton, England-based carrier, had set Lundgren’s starting salary at approximately $1.04 million; a raise of nearly $48,000.

“At EasyJet we are absolutely committed to giving equal pay and equal opportunity for women and men.  I want that to apply to everybody at easyJet and to show my personal commitment I have asked the Board to reduce my pay to match that of Carolyn’s when she was at easyJet,” the company’s new CEO said in a statement.

With only about five percent of the airline’s current pilots being female, Lundgren also set a hiring goal of having at least 20 percent of EasyJet’s pilots be women by 2020. Women make up just four percent of the total number of commercial pilots worldwide.

Although salaries for airline jobs are collectively bargained by unions and the pay for men and women is equal, the small number of women in high-paying positions like pilot have caused easyJet’s gender pay gap to balloon to 51.7 percent. EasyJet added that they recruited 49 female co-pilots into their new entrant program in 2017; a 48-percent increase from the year before.

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