Arjuna Capital: SEC Rejects Amazon Attempt To Kill Shareholder Vote On Closing Gender Pay Gap

Even Though Intel and Apple Have Led the Way, Responding to Shareholder Urging to Pay Women Fairly, Online Retail Giant Refuses to Address Problem.

Mar 17, 2016, 19:52 ET from Arjuna Capital, Boston

BOSTON, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- When Amazon shareholders meet in June, they will vote on a resolution urging the company to close the gender pay gap.  This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected an Amazon attempt to keep the resolution, which was filed by Arjuna Capital and Baldwin Brothers Inc., and co-filed by Pax World Management, off the ballot.

Already this year, Arjuna Capital has announced success in its shareholder engagements on gender pay equity at Intel (February 3rd) and Apple (March 2nd), both of which reported the gender pay gap already is closed or will be closed shortly.   On March 2nd, Arjuna Capital issued a news release (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/showdown-on-gender-pay-equity-in-silicon-valley-shareholders-press-seven-tech-giants-to-follow-lead-of-intel-apple-on-fair-treatment-of-women-300229578.html) warning that "America's best-known technology companies – including Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and E-Bay – face 2016 proxy season votes and other direct shareholder pressure to follow the lead taken by Intel and Apple."

In addition to its work in encouraging the steps at Intel and Apple, Arjuna Capital, a division of Baldwin Brothers Inc., filed seven resolutions at other technology companies asking them to commit to closing the gender pay equity gap.

A link to the SEC action in the Amazon matter, including the proposal may be found at:  http://www.arjuna-capital.com/sites/default/files/SEC%20Decision_Amazon_3.17.16.pdf

Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement, at Arjuna Capital applauded Intel and Apple's leadership: "It is unfortunate that Amazon is not following the smart, progressive lead of tech giants like Apple and Intel.  The inability to attract and retain women is a systemic issue in the tech world.  Paying women a fair wage is essential to driving diversity, which is critical to innovation and performance."

Lamb said: "A proactive approach to gender pay equity is just good business.  Companies can and should commit to closing the gender pay gap today.  But it won't happen without bold leadership."

Arjuna withdrew a shareholder proposal at Intel as the company reported on February 3rd it achieved 100 percent gender pay equity in 2015. See: http://www.arjuna-capital.com/sites/default/files/020316-Arjuna-Intel-Gender-Pay-Equity-Release.pdf.

On March 2 Apple confirmed to Arjuna Capital and Pax World Funds during shareholder dialogue that the tech giant achieved 99.6 percent gender pay equity (not including bonuses and stock)

Intel and Apple joined the ranks of very few US companies – including The Gap, Salesforce.com, and GoDaddy -- that have been accountable and transparent in their commitment to gender pay equity.

On a national level, women, who are paid an average of 78 cents for every dollar men earn, will not reach pay parity until 2058. In the technology industry, which struggles to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, recruiting firm Dice reports men earned nearly $10,000 dollars more than women on average in 2014.  

 

SOURCE Arjuna Capital, Boston



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