Pax Ellevate Urges SEC To Take Action On Pay Equity

Firm Focused on Investing in Women Calls for Disclosure of Pay Equity Data

Feb 04, 2016, 12:06 ET from Pax Ellevate Management LLC

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Pax Ellevate Management LLC, investment adviser to the Pax Ellevate Global Women's Index Fund (PXWEX), has sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), urging the agency to require annual disclosure of gender pay ratios within the financial filings of public companies, or in the alternative, to issue guidance for voluntary disclosure of such information.

In its letter, Pax Ellevate states that investors should be entitled to information regarding pay equity, as it is a useful and material indicator of management quality, and conversely, of companies that may bear disproportionate risk. According to Pax Ellevate, pay inequities may be a sign of additional unseen problems within a company, and yet, pay ratios by gender are not currently required in financial reporting.

"Closing the gender pay gap isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do from a business perspective," said Pax Ellevate CEO Joe Keefe. "Reporting pay ratios by gender will provide shareholders a more complete picture of how companies are managing diversity and attracting, retaining, and developing a talented workforce." 

The Pax Ellevate letter points out that pay equity can be a key driver of greater gender diversity in corporate leadership1, which studies have shown is associated with superior financial performance over the long term.2

"We not only believe that pay equity is critical to advancing women in business, but that gender disparities may pose material risks to investors, and companies should therefore publicly disclose this information," said Keefe. "Companies that take advantage of talents across the entire workforce are better positioned to succeed, while those that discriminate can be vulnerable to litigation, regulatory, and reputational risk."

Keefe called on other institutional and individual investors to join Pax Ellevate by sending their own letters to the SEC advocating for disclosure of gender pay ratios: "The more people they hear from, the better the Commissioners will understand that this is information that should be made available to investors."  

Pax World Management, which has partnered with Ellevate Asset Management to form Pax Ellevate, is also involved in several shareholder advocacy initiatives aimed at closing the gender pay gap, including filing shareholder proposals at Apple, eBay, and Amazon, requesting the disclosure of pay equity assessment results.

About Pax Ellevate Management LLC
Pax Ellevate Management LLC (www.paxellevate.com) is the result of a partnership between Pax World Management LLC and Ellevate Asset Management LLC. Pax and Ellevate came together because they share the same vision about the critical role that gender diversity plays in business success over time, as well as the investment opportunities associated with investing in women.

About Pax World Management LLC
Pax World Management LLC, investment adviser to Pax World Funds (www.paxworld.com), is a recognized leader in Sustainable Investing, the full integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis and decision making. Pax World launched the financial industry's first socially responsible mutual fund in 1971. Today, Pax World offers a comprehensive platform of Sustainable Investing solutions including Pax World Funds, a family of mutual funds, as well as separately managed accounts. 

You should consider a fund's investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses carefully before investing. For this and other important information, please obtain a fund prospectus by calling 800.767.1729 or visiting www.paxworld.com. Please read it carefully before investing.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

RISKS: Equity investments are subject to market fluctuations, the fund's share price can fall because of weakness in the broad market, a particular industry, or specific holdings. The Fund does not take defensive positions in declining markets. The Fund's performance would likely be adversely affected by a decline in the Index. Investments in emerging markets and non-U.S. securities are generally less liquid and less efficient than investments in developed markets and are subject to additional risks, such as risks of adverse governmental regulation, intervention and political developments.  There is no guarantee that the objective will be met and diversification does not eliminate risk.

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1 Mercer, "When Women Thrive Businesses Thrive," 2015. http://www.mmc.com/content/dam/mmc-web/Files/Gender-Diversity-When-women-thrive-businesses-thrive-Mercer.pdf

2 See Pax Ellevate website for a list of studies that illuminate the relationship between women's empowerment and financial performance.  http://www.paxellevate.com/resources/gender-research

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SOURCE Pax Ellevate Management LLC



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