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article imageClosing the median gender pay gap at big tech firms

By Tim Sandle     Feb 24, 2019 in Business
Despite some progress and greater public awareness, the gender pay gap continues to be a major issue, not least with technology firms. A new campaign is seeking to raise awareness and has focused on some major corporations.
Shareholder advocate Arjuna Capital has named the leading banks and technology giants it is engaging in 2019 in order to address median gender pay equity issues. Arjuna Capital works with individuals, families and foundations to create a suite of sustainable investments. The types of investments also focus on promoting progressive social policies like pay equality. For this, the finance house works with both the Equal Rights Advocates and Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative.
The global pay gap between men and women is so vast that it will take 202 years to close, based on the current pace of change so slow, according to the World Economic Forum and as reported by The Guardian. The issue is of societal and economic importance. In addition to equality, gender parity can be fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive.
The organization notes that major finance player Citigroup has revealed its gender pay data, and this shows women make, on average (median) 29 percent less pay than men. Commending Citi for revealing these figures, Arjuna Capital are now calling on other big firms to reveal the extent of their gender pay gaps. This includes technology companies like Adobe, Amazon, Intel, Facebook, Google; plus finance centers, such as BNYMellon, BofA, Wells Fargo, AmEx, JPMorgan and Mastercard.
If companies are not forthcoming, Arjuna Capital is putting forward motions as a shareholder proposal, requesting that these bigger companies unveil the percentage median pay gap between male and female employees. Additional data relating to ethnicity is also requested. In addition to basic salary, the organization is seeking data pertaining to bonuses and equity arrangements.
Proposals for the data to be revealed in shareholder reports have already been requested by Arjuna Capital to both BofA and Google.
Commenting on the renewed campaign, Arjuna Capital’s spokesperson Natasha Lamb states: “There are gender pay gaps … and then there are median gender pay gaps. For three years, Arjuna Capital has led the charge on ‘equal pay for equal work’ shareholder activism. But ‘equal pay’ is only half the story.”
A video tutorial from Natasha Lamb on pay gaps for “global median gender pay” vs. “equal pay for equal work” and the shareholder proposal announcement today is shown below:
Lamb adds that her organization wish to adopt a partnership approach: “We hope to work with these companies in the same collaborative, productive way we did with Citi to publish authentic disclosures that address the full scope of the gender pay gap issue. Women are dramatically underrepresented in high-paying positions at nearly all major corporations.”
More about Gender, gender pay gap, Pay gap, Wages
 
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