8 of 9 targeted financial institutions agree to share information and adjust salaries; Reinsurance Group of America is first insurance company committed to act.
BOSTON AND NEW YORK CITY (April 3, 2018) – Eight leading financial companies have announced proactive steps to erase gender pay inequity in response to shareholder proposals from Arjuna Capital. Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) is the 8th company since January 15th to agree to the terms of Arjuna’s proposal, committing to disclose its gender pay gap to shareholders by the end of 2018, with a goal of 100% pay equity. Arjuna Capital officially withdrew its shareholder proposal at RGA by letter on Thursday, March 29th. RGA is the first insurance company to commit to 100% gender pay equity in response to shareholder pressure.
An overwhelming majority of financial companies targeted by Arjuna Capital on gender pay equity (eight of nine in 2018) have now responded proactively to shareholder engagements, measuring and ameliorating pay practices on key measures to the vicinity of 99 percent.
Glassdoor finds an unexplained 7.2 percent gender pay gap in the insurance industry even after statistical controls accounting for role and seniority, the highest of 25 industries examined. Robeco Sam finds a 17 percent median pay gap for insurance company managers, while Insurance Journal’s 2016 Agency Salary Survey found female managers earned 79,531 dollars less than male managers on average.
Natasha Lamb, managing partner, Arjuna Capital said: “The RGA agreement represents a meaningful first step toward gender pay equity in the insurance industry. By committing to best practice disclosure and 100% gender pay equity, Reinsurance Group has now set the bar for an industry that has struggled with an outsized gender pay gap. We commend the company’s pledge to create pay equity in their workforce and report to shareholders by the end of 2018.”
On January 15th, Citigroup was the first US bank to disclose its gender and racial pay gap through an internal announcement and salary adjustments. Bank of America joined Citi on January 25th, becoming the second big bank to address shareholder concerns on gender and racial pay equity. Wells Fargo made a similar announcement on February 1st, trailed by Bank of New York Mellon on February 6th. Mastercard published an announcement online on February 12th, and the last of the banks engaged by shareholders, JPMorgan, agreed to terms on Feb. 23rd. On March 7, American Express (AMEX) committed to full disclosure and new action steps to adjust salaries by the end of 2018.
Similar to AMEX, RGA has officially committed to analyzing and disclosing to its employees and on its corporate website by the end of 2018 the Company’s gender pay gap, including base, bonus, and equity compensation, starting first in the United States and countries representing 83% of the Company’s employee base, with a commitment to expand globally over time.
Lamb continued: “Transparent accounting of pay disparities is a necessary first step toward eliminating the structural barriers women face in the workplace, but it is not sufficient. The larger goal is moving more women into leadership, and realizing the performance benefits such diversity affords.”
Women make up over half of the insurance industry workforce, but occupy less than 30 percent of managerial positions. Female executives are 20 to 30 percent more likely to leave financial services careers than other careers.
2018 marks an abrupt shift from 2016, when six of the originally targeted institutions (Bank of America, Mastercard, American Express, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citi) rejected shareholder proposals filed by Arjuna Capital asking for detailed reports on the percentage pay gap between male and female employees.
The RGA gender pay resolution is available online at: (https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/RGA-Shareholder-Proposal_Gender-Pay-Equity-12012018.pdf).
Arjuna Capital’s letter withdrawing the RGA proposal is available at: (https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Reinsurance-Group-Withdrawal-Letter_03.29.18.pdf).
ABOUT ARJUNA CAPITAL
Arjuna Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. Lamb and Arjuna Capital have been recognized for using shareholder resolutions to promote gender pay equity in the tech, banking, and retail sectors. Natasha Lamb was named to the “Bloomberg 50” list of influencers who defined global business in 2017. For more information, visit www.Arjuna-Capital.com.
CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell, (202) 441-7647 or [email protected]