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Legality of Amy Johnson Initiative - Equality Act 2010

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Legality of Amy Johnson Initiative - Equality Act 2010

Old 12th Oct 2017, 17:14
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A lot of interesting contributions coming to light so far. Thanks for your inputs.

Originally Posted by redsnail
I sincerely hope you've written to Carolyn McCall advising her of her folly. Let's see if her replacement scraps the scheme....
Actually, I have. Funnily enough, no response.

I am also writing to the Equalities Commission and the Equalities minister, The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, to seek their opinions in this instance and try to better educate myself.

Originally Posted by Pizzacake
1. EasyJet employ lawyers. Presumably very good ones. If they have felt this is legal, I would put very good money on it that your questionable legal ramblings are wide of the actual legal mark.
2. You keep saying about equally qualified, if they meet the minimum criteria, then they are equally qualified, and guess who sets the criteria? EasyJet. ! You may think that flight hours, or a better degree or a rampaging sense of entitlement make you better qualified, but if easyJet( again backed up by employment law specialists) say they don't see that as a relevant advantage then you are wasting your time.
Maybe spending more time brushing up on interview and people skills to make yourself stand out at interviews rather than raising tenuous questions online might just help this become a non issue for you by making you an exceptional candidate.
Pizza Cake, I would like to address your post in particular since it is more along the 'legality' lines I was pitching my original post at.

I am not a lawyer, no. Yes, I am rambling, but am I not allowed to, or am I far off the actual legal mark there, too?

I am in a free, parliamentary democracy where we - the society - vote for a government to represent us and our values. I may be misinformed, but I am trying to educate myself by writing to the above democratically elected postholders.

You'll also notice that I have been quite careful with my words. At no point have I said easyJet has broken the law. Instead, I've simply asked the question and remarked that I'm unconvinced that they are operating within the law. I may be ignorant, yes, but at least I'm inquisitive and willing to learn. It would be arrogant not to. The day we stop doing that - learning - as human beings, and especially pilots, is the day we stop progressing, growing and ultimately living.

On your second point, I have to agree with you - but this is exactly the problem. It's not clear what defines an 'exceptional candidate' or makes someone 'equally qualified', and that's where there's room to wiggle for subjective hiring techniques - and is also what makes such a fool out of the likes of 'equal opportunities'.

Edit: I would also add that I have been good so far, at not letting emotions creep into my answers. I'm not speculating for example what current easyJet pilots might think or hearsay of instances where this scheme hasn't worked well. I am simply keeping to the question of legality. The rest is all opinion and emotion. At the end of the day, easyJet can do what it likes, moral or not - but it cannot operate outside the law.

Last edited by sleezjet; 12th Oct 2017 at 20:53.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 21:00
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Originally Posted by Council Van

Its EasyJets train set, if you want them to let you play then just accept their rules.

That's pretty much the same as saying 'if you want to live in my house, you have to live by my rules'. And, that's fine - except those rules do have to be legal.
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Old 13th Oct 2017, 08:41
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And, that's fine - except those rules do have to be legal.
And, as mentioned previously, do you honestly believe that easyJet's legal department would not have scrutinised this scheme before releasing it?
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Old 13th Oct 2017, 15:32
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The reality of the situation is that easyJet can not recruit a woman over a man because she is a woman. She must be equally qualified and as discussed that definition is laid down by easyJet.
How the scheme most likely works is that from a recruitment perspective, the female pilots that apply are measured by the same yardstick as the male and then the top 6 who have applied through the initiative get it. That way the actual recruitment remains entirely on merit and ability it's the subsequent financing of training that is addressed.
Financing is a major barrier to all applicants and if easyJet have been able to make a case that removing this barrier will help with equality, then really they should be in the clear.
Now I would concede that money is not a gender based bias, but by opening the field a little more to females and getting more in the cockpit that will hopefully over time lead to a less male dominated work place and encourage more to apply.


Somewhere, in easyJet's equality section in HR there will be a business case scrutinised by lawyers, possibly drafted after speaking to the equality commission of how the initiative aims to address the underrepresentation of females in the cockpit.
I can get why you might be frustrated at it, I just think you're wasting your time on this one as easyJet ain't your local pub, they don't just do this kinda stuff on a wing and a prayer.

I'd love to know if the OP has a recent rejection letter from easyJet in their posession. ?
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Old 14th Oct 2017, 01:13
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Don’t just assume because they’re a large corporate entity, that everything they do is right or legal.

If anything, the larger the operation, the bigger the bully they can be; with their dubious practices often being conducted in plain sight.
Everyone just assuming it must be okay, as it’s “such a big company”... which is exactly how they manage to get away with these things.

I fly for a firm that dwarfs Easyjet and we’ve been in the news for a lot of the wrong reasons in the last decade and we have an army of lawyers, HR bods, finance etc.
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Old 14th Oct 2017, 04:51
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Originally Posted by sleezjet
That's pretty much the same as saying 'if you want to live in my house, you have to live by my rules'. And, that's fine - except those rules do have to be legal.
Perhaps moral and legal?
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Old 14th Oct 2017, 09:11
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I think you've very much mistaken what this Initiative is about. It's a very male dominated industry and there are many of them around. This initiative is about encouraging woman to apply for the role and encouraging them to engage with easyJet about how to reach the role of pilot. Woman will still have to reach the same standard as male applicants when going through the process.

I work somewhere that had a similar scheme to encourage woman to apply for a male dominated industry. Previously female applicants were few and far between - a recent recruitment drive saw a huge number of female applicants and a large number of them are now in training for the role.

There are only 6 opportunities for loan underwriting under this initiative, and I would assume there are a further 6 not related to this initiative. There is no unfair advantage, it's merely a campaign to encourage woman to apply who might not have otherwise applied.

The likelihood of easyJet underwriting your training loan is slim to almost non-existent. I haven't read a single post here about anyone having gotten this underwriting. (Edit: Actually to correct myself I saw one post but they only offered to do this after the candidate had applied themselves for funding and then easyJet stepped in - if that was true then it appears easyJet want to be sure you pass lenders criteria before they offer support)

It's far more likely that loan underwriting is only done to candidates who already work for easyJet. I have friends who work there who have said if you work there easyJet will support you in the process. You must have worked there for at least 18 months to qualify for the support (and when they mention support I assume they are talking about loan underwriting).

This thread does seem a bit like sour grapes.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 00:19
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I donít believe people are getting OPs message

I commend OP by the way he has conducted his inquiry. Different mix of people on this thread and it is interesting to hear differing view points. Each of which have, to some degree, a vested interest in this matter. Making it quite hard to look at it objectively, OP in my opinion is the only one who has a measured and rational approach to the issue.

Having said that, many valid points have been brought up.

I take the argument there arenít as many women in the industry... and this needs to be addressed. However giving aspiring female pilots the financial opportunity and not male aspiring pilots the same opportunity is surely in some way discriminatory.

Contrary to popular belief the main obstacle to anyone getting into the industry is your ability to pay, not your gender. I know many female pilots and male pilots from various airlines, all very capable. But all quite well off and able to pay. I equally know some men and women who are even more capable but could not afford it and now fly in the military... arguably even more selective.

Social mobility regarding gender isnít as prominent an issue now for current generations as it traditionally has been. Though I am not saying bias doesnít still exist. But change happens gradually, and it is possible now for men to be discrimated against (there do exist occupations that are primarily female, and there are cases of child custody being granted in favour of the mothers rather than fathers [random example soz]) as well as women. Thatís equality for you!

P.S. I find anyone who accuses someone of having a chip on their shoulder is usually someone with a chip on their shoulder.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 10:44
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What a steaming pile of horse manure. With regard to being "selected on merit", I think you guys fail to understand the reality. It's more like, having screened from the initial several thousand applicants, they have culled probably 90% and ended up with several hundred who they consider to be the most meritorious and likely to succeed. They have a couple dozen positions to fill. At that stage, they might as well pick names out of a hat. If they decide to address what they perceive to be a gender imbalance in their workforce, that is entirely their prerogative.

This is one of the most brutal unfair industries in the world where timing is everything, nobody owes you a damn thing, and years of work can be undone in the blink of an eye if some @sshole examiner decides he doesn't like you on the day. There's bloody nothing you can do about it except be the best you can be, yourself.

You won't last very long if you're the kind of person who frets because you feel that someone else got an easier ride.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 14:38
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Contrary to popular belief the main obstacle to anyone getting into the industry is your ability to pay, not your gender.
Except gender (and race) is stopping people even thinking they can apply.

The industry is denying itself a vast array of talent due to social factors and with this initiative Easy are going a tiny way to trying to resolve this.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 19:49
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Originally Posted by Daysleeper
Except gender (and race) is stopping people even thinking they can apply.

Couldn't agree more. The problem isn't that we do not have 'enough' females/people of colour in the flight deck. The problem is when somebody thinks they can't apply because of their race/gender.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 20:42
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We get the OPs point, it's just poorly researched and badly thought out

aplucas, the OP, having done what appears to be enough research to know there's law covering this has the then decided to go off writing to those in high office than continuing his research.
This suggests anything but an objective approach. An objective approach involves taking a broad view of the topic and reading multiple sources and assessing them for validity rather than half doing it and shooting off on a forum.

And 30seconds of research will tell you that exceptional canditates of any gender also get considered for financial support which takes the initiative from discrimination to positive action which a further minute googling will inform you, is specifically allowed and encouraged in the law.

I will once again repeat my belief that the OP has been recently rejected and I'll add that with this kind of attitude I'd hazard that's a good thing.

Last edited by Pizzacake; 15th Oct 2017 at 20:43. Reason: Spelling
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 21:37
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You only have to read the easyjet page about this to see....

easyJet set a recruitment target of 12% for female pilots under this initiative over 2 years. They managed to recruit 33 in one year which made their 12% target. That would mean 242 recruits were Male that year. They’ve now raised that to 20%.

If they recruit the same number of pilots then 55 would be female and 220 would be Male. Only 6 are getting the underwriting.

Going back to the OP you also mentioned them advertising on their career website, this isn't quite true. It says on it that it's not an application, it's merely an option to register your interest - which I imagine will result in you being directed to L3.

Last edited by 31Pilot; 15th Oct 2017 at 22:09.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 21:45
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I should imagine the other 49 women might be a bit miffed as well then.
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 22:54
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Originally Posted by Groundloop
And, as mentioned previously, do you honestly believe that easyJet's legal department would not have scrutinised this scheme before releasing it?
What a court might interpret as legal or not, and if illegal the severity of the sentence will highly depend on factors like feelings, social status of the people involved, and the news.

For instance, some idiots in France took advantage of the terrorist attacks to pose as victims and profit from the victims fund.
Due to the very sensitive nature of the related events, they got the worst possible sentences. Several years in prison, whereas in other circumstances (like if they had been powerful politicians embezzling money from honest citizens) they could have avoided prison (or even a sentence) altogether.


What I mean is that this programme is very consistent with the general trend of feminism nowadays.
There aren't many women in positions of power ? Let's favour them in reaching those.
There aren't many women in prison or dangerous/exhausting jobs ? No one cares for these men (not even me)

About the flying positions, we should really wonder if it is normal or not that there are so few women in recreational flying (because making a career out of it is a huge commitment, however flying for fun is very attainable if one wants so).
Is it because they feel pressured into not pursuing this interest ? This would be a huge problem.
Is it because there are other reasons, like they just lack interest ? This is totally acceptable.
I don't see the point in wanting to impose equal numbers everywhere.
Originally Posted by Aplucas

I take the argument there aren’t as many women in the industry... and this needs to be addressed. However giving aspiring female pilots the financial opportunity and not male aspiring pilots the same opportunity is surely in some way discriminatory.

Contrary to popular belief the main obstacle to anyone getting into the industry is your ability to pay, not your gender. I know many female pilots and male pilots from various airlines, all very capable. But all quite well off and able to pay. I equally know some men and women who are even more capable but could not afford it and now fly in the military... arguably even more selective.

Social mobility regarding gender isn’t as prominent an issue now for current generations as it traditionally has been. Though I am not saying bias doesn’t still exist. But change happens gradually, and it is possible now for men to be discrimated against (there do exist occupations that are primarily female, and there are cases of child custody being granted in favour of the mothers rather than fathers [random example soz]) as well as women. That’s equality for you!
Why would it be a problem if there are few women in flying jobs ? What if they don't want to fly airplanes ? Let them be !
Is it a problem if there aren't many men working as children caretakers ?

Plus, you're entirely right when you say the main obstacle is money, not gender.

The entire debate about class conflict, which is more real now than ever, has been carefully manipulated into a "race conflict" and a "gender conflict".
I couldn't find a very definitive proof until recently. The perfect example was the following:
Our French minister of labour, an old woman, had worked in the private sector and made huge amount of money, presumably because she acted as head of HR while her company fired many people, which allowed the company to increase its profit and its stock (and she had tons of stock).
When a journalist asked her how she could justify making this much money and at the same time asking her fellow citizen to accept worse social conditions (job security, salary, hours, holidays, etc..).. guess what her answer was ?
"Women have the right to make as much money as men"
She completely moved the subject from class conflict (the real subject) to gender conflict.

Last edited by KayPam; 16th Oct 2017 at 23:08.
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 23:32
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I believe that Easy jet will be recruiting women under a positive action scheme. To my certain knowledge, in the past, HSBC and the BBC have gone down this route to redress the racial inequalities of their workforces. That is why we see and hear black and minority ethnic groups more and more in the BBC these days. The yardstick used is the number of a particular group in the background population.
We alll know the percentage of women in the population so that 50% or thereabouts will be the position they are aiming for.
Positive action schemes are lawful while positive discrimination is unlawful. Btw, the correct terminology is unlawful not illegal. The former is civil law while the latter is criminal law.
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 12:04
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Originally Posted by ChocksAwayChaps
We alll know the percentage of women in the population so that 50% or thereabouts will be the position they are aiming for
That's on the assumption that an equal number of men and women actually want to be pilots. IMHO it'll never be anywhere close to 50% for that reason. They can remove any negative stigma/preconceptions that it's a 'man's job', go into schools and let people know it's a career for anyone/everyone but they can't force people to want to do it.
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Old 20th Oct 2017, 17:01
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Out of interest, what were their reasons? (if you don't mind)
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Old 20th Oct 2017, 19:19
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Originally Posted by redsnail
I read these posts with amusement. 6 positions. Just 6 positions out of how many that easyJet hire per year? easyJet is underwriting the loan, not paying for it. I sincerely hope you've written to Carolyn McCall advising her of her folly. Let's see if her replacement scraps the scheme...

Discriminated against? Don't make me laugh. 5% of the world's airline pilots are women. I'm sure you can do the maths. That means 95% are men. They are your competition. Not the paltry number of women. The number of female captains world wide can fit in 1 B747. Hardly massive numbers...

When I can walk through the terminal in my uniform and no one bats an eye, when I am recognised as the captain, not the FA when I am speaking to the pax, the refueller, the handling agent, the hotel check-in staff, the taxi driver... I think you get my point. Then and only then will these schemes and initiatives be superfluous.

I sure you'll scream "it's not fair". Guess what? It's not. Life is not fair. It just isn't. If you are going to get upset before you're hired, then I had better warn you that you'll be getting upset regularly throughout your career. Someone will get "your" base. Someone will get a command before you. Someone will get a fleet change before you. Someone will be able to bid summer leave... It never stops.

You can either just shrug your shoulders and focus on with your life & career or you can whinge on a bulletin board.
Your choice.
What a morally bankrupt post.

The fact that it is impossible to be totally fair about everything is not a cart blanche to not even bother to try.

What we see here is very standard; the view that sexism is JUST FINE as long as women are the beneficiaries.

If I was to offer training at reduced rates or sponsorship, but to male candidates only, how long would it take before a legal storm ensued?
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 01:41
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You mean like the industry essentially did for decades by putting barriers in the way for women and openly discriminating at the very outset ?
Yes it's a bit rough that today's cadets are paying for the sins of their fathers, but while it's a 5/95 split in favour of men that's gonna be positive action not sexism.
And the fact that EZY do provide financial aid to exceptional male recruits means that the opportunity exists for men to benefit too.
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