SILICON VALLEY, Calif., June 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Will Google shareholders outside of the dominant management team at Alphabet be outvoted again Wednesday (June 7th) on gender pay equity? Last year, nine leading US tech companies faced shareholders and seven took action on gender pay equity. Google was one of just two target companies, including Facebook, which failed to take meaningful action in 2016 on its gender pay gap. This week's vote comes amid new reports from the U.S. Department of Labor citing the company for engaging in "extreme" and "systemic" gender pay equity disparities.
To underscore the DOL findings, Payscale reports that Google has a 13 percent mean gender pay gap and Glassdoor reports a $25,000 gap at the senior engineering level. Nonetheless, Arjuna Capital and co-filers Baldwin Brothers Inc. and Proxy Impact are asking shareholders to step up on Wednesday for the repeat resolution (http://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017-GOOGL-Shareholder-Proposal_Gender-Pay-Equity.pdf), calling for a detailed report to assess Alphabet's strategy and performance with respect to gender pay – one that includes the percentage pay gap between male and female employees, policies to address that gap, and quantitative reduction targets.
At Alphabet, approximately 30 percent of the company's employees are women, yet women account for just 21 percent of the firm's leadership. In the tech sector, men earned nearly $10,000 more than women on average in 2014. Women make up just 26 percent of the US tech workforce. In addition, 45 percent of tech companies lack a single female executive, few women hold senior management and board positions, and there remains a high rate of attrition among women.
Natasha Lamb, managing partner, at Arjuna Capital said: "In 2016, Alphabet management took a 'trust us' approach hoping to assuage investors' concerns over the gender pay gap. Now a year has gone by and the company has taken no meaningful steps forward. In fact, the Department of Labor is now alleging "extreme" pay disparities. Given the financial benefits gained by gender equity, investors expect solutions, not lip service.
Lamb added: "The stunning reality is that Alphabet has the largest employee-reported pay gap ($25,104) in senior level engineering positions among its peers, according to a 2014 Glassdoor analysis. Failing to pay women a fair wage is not only bad for women, it's bad for the company and bad for shareholders. A proactive approach to wage transparency is long overdue and we are hopeful for a more positive outcome this year."
Shareholders will vote on a gender pay proposal at Alphabet's 2017 annual meeting on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m. PDT at Alphabet's headquarters located at: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California 94043.
While the gender pay disparity is narrowing, on a national level, women, who are paid an average of 79 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.
The Harvard Business Review reports 41 percent of highly qualified scientists, engineers, and technologist in entry level positions are female, yet 56 percent of midcareer women leave the field at mid-level positions.
Arjuna Capital led the successful shareholder fight last year in getting seven of nine targeted tech companies -- eBay, Intel, Apple, Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft and Adobe -- to upgrade their standards and transparency on gender pay disparity in the workplace.
This year, Arjuna Capital has taken the same campaign to six top banks and credit card companies: Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America (in partnership with Baldwin Brothers Inc.), JP Morgan, MasterCard, and American Express.
Starbucks is the most recent company to report its gender pay gap following an engagement with Arjuna Capital. https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/community/diversity-and-inclusion/aspirations
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SOURCE Arjuna Capital, Boston