EasyJet is among major companies to reveal gender pay gaps of more than 15% in favour of men for mean hourly pay.

Organisations with 250 or more workers must publish their figures by April and so far more than 500 have done so.

Women’s hourly pay rates are 52% lower than men’s at Easyjet.

On average, women earn 15% less per hour at Ladbrokes and 33% less at Virgin Money.

All three firms say men and women are paid equally when in the same role, the BBC reported.

Six per cent of the budget airline’s UK pilots are women – a role which pays £92,400 a year on average – whereas 69% of lower-paid cabin crew are women, with an average annual salary of £24,800.

The carrier said it had set a target that one in five of new entrant pilots should be female by 2020.

The airline’s gender pay gap report says: “EasyJet’s gender pay gap is strongly influenced by the salaries and gender make-up of its pilot community, which make up over a quarter of its UK employees.

“Pilots are predominantly male and their higher salaries, relative to other employees, significantly increases the average male pay at easyJet.”

The gender pay gap is the pay discrepancy between men and women irrespective of their job or position.

That is distinct from equal pay – when companies are required to ensure that men and women carrying out the same or similar roles are paid the same for the amount of work they do.

Employers with low or no gender pay gaps include the British Museum (0%) and the armed forces (0.9%).

Firms paying women significantly more include mattress retailer Sweet Dreams – which said women were paid 46.4% more – and nursery business Yellow Dot, where women’s hourly rate is 35.4% more.

There were calls for more action on tackling equal pay from the Women’s Equality Party.