Online Auction Site eBay Issues Gender Pay Equity Study Showing Pay Parity Between Women and Men, After 51.2 Percent of Shareholders Voted for Resolution Calling on Tech Giant to Close Gap.
BOSTON (October 14, 2016) – Arjuna Capital today applauded eBay for a new gender pay equity study that shows women earn nearly the same as men in the US – 99.8 percent of the total compensation that men make in the same job and at the same grade level. The eBay study examined total compensation of its employees, but also reviewed salary, bonus and annual stock, and was the culmination of a two-year long campaign by Arjuna Capital to engage eBay to take official steps to “fix” gender pay inequality.
On April 27, 2016, eBay became the sixth major U.S. tech company to respond to shareholder calls for pay equity, following a 51 percent shareholder vote. As of that point in time, Arjuna Capital had achieved success in its shareholder engagements at six of nine companies it has engaged: Intel (February 3rd), Apple (March 2nd), Amazon (March 23rd), Expedia (March 24th) and Microsoft (April 11th), all of which reported the gender pay gap is closed, near closed, or will be closed shortly. Since that time, Adobe (July 25) has also reported its gender pay gap.
EBay’s announcement reflects a major shift and momentum building for tech companies to improve the treatment of women in the workplace. Arjuna Capital filed the shareholder proposal at eBay in partnership with Baldwin Brothers and co-filer Pax World Funds. Arjuna also filed at eight other tech giants, asking them to take similar steps. The full eBay announcement is available at:
Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement at Arjuna Capital said: “Ebay is now stepping up as a leader on equal pay for women. It was the first company we engaged on the issue and despite early opposition, the company has now moved in the right direction. We really see the tide beginning to shift in Silicon Valley—gender pay equity is no longer a ‘nice to have,’ it’s a ‘must have.’ That’s a far cry from where tech giants were two years ago when we first asked eBay to close the gender pay gap. In 2016 alone, seven of the largest tech companies in the US have committed to equal pay, including Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. Now it’s time for other male-dominated industries to play catch up.”
Alphabet (parent company of Google) was the 7th of nine tech giants to feel the heat from Arjuna Capital on pay equity. Its small group of management-dominated shareholders voted down the resolution at the annual meeting on June 10, 2016.
Unlike Alphabet, eBay shareholders spoke loud and clear at its annual meeting, where a majority of votes cast were in favor of reporting on and closing the gender pay gap. As a result, the company put that will into action.
Lamb added: “Equal pay is not only about breaking down gender bias, it is about attracting and retaining top female talent and realizing the performance benefits diversity affords. We are expanding our gender pay campaign to other sectors this year including consumer companies such as Starbucks, financial services companies, and big banks.”
Only Facebook and Alphabet continue to be opaque in their disclosures on gender pay equity.
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.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266, [email protected]
Image credit: “A photograph of eBay’s Whitman Campus (corporate headquarters), taken from Greylands Dr. on Memorial Day 2009” by Steven Arnold, CC by 3.0