Companies in the travel sector have among the highest and lowest gender pay gaps in the country – with high street agency Dawson & Sanderson reporting zero difference in average male and female wages.

The stark differences in pay were highlighted this week as Ryanair reported a gap of 67% on average between the hourly pay for male and female staff, compared with easyJet’s 52% and British Airways’ 35%.

Ryanair’s figure contrasts with northeast-based travel agency Dawson & Sanderson, which has reported equal pay for its 259 male and female employees.

This puts the retailer among the minority of UK companies to have reported a small or non-existent difference in male and female pay as at April 5, 2017.

By comparison, Hays Travel reported an 18% gender pay gap, Tui 10% in its shop network, Thomas Cook 14% in retail and STA Travel 10%.

The deadline to report gender pay figures for private companies and charities with more than 250 staff is midnight on April 4.

About 9,000 companies are expected to submit figures, yet it is understood that more than 1,000 had yet to do so just days before the deadline.

Kuoni is set to report its figures on deadline day, while Barrhead Travel is due to update its gender pay figures, which had been submitted incorrectly.

In general, airlines have the largest gender pay gaps, attributed to the low numbers of female pilots. There is less difference in the pay at high street retailers, which tend to have workforces dominated by women.

The data is designed to promote transparency in the workplace, but has been criticised by the Institute for Economic Affairs because of the way figures are broken down across entire organisations rather than between comparable roles.

There is also a lack of distinction between full and part-time roles – an issue that’s particularly relevant in the travel sector.

Dawson & Sanderson managing director Chris Harrison said the figures reflected its unbiased recruitment policy, with gender playing “no part”.

“We feel it highly important pay rates are based on experience, 
skill set and suitability for the role,” he said. “We have never based our pay on gender.”

The figures, based on staff across 23 agencies mainly in the northeast, did show women received 10% less, on average, in bonus pay than men. In total, 82% of employees are female.

At Ryanair, only eight of the 546 UK pilots are women, with only 3% of staff in its highest-earning quartile female.

At a glance, gender pay gap

Here’s a snapshot of the average gender pay gap (how much less female staff earn, on average, than male staff)

Travel agencies
Dawson & Sanderson 0%
Hays Travel 18%
STA Travel 10%
Thomas Cook 14%
Travel Republic 30%
Tui 10%

Tour operators
Audley Travel 26%
Gold Medal 18%
Jet2holidays 20%
Travel 2 21%

British Airways 35%
EasyJet 52% 53%
Ryanair 67%
Thomas Cook Airlines 58%
Tui Airways 57%