PRESS RELEASE: ARJUNA CAPITAL, TIME’S UP TAKE FIGHT FOR MEDIAN GENDER/RACIAL PAY REPORTING TO ALPHABET/GOOGLE ANNUAL MEETING

Sky Kelley, representing TIME’S UP, delivers Arjuna Capital’s pay equity message at Alphabet annual meeting; Natasha Lamb: “Just Google ‘gender pay gap at Google’ to see the hypocrisy.”

SUNNYVALE, CA (June 19, 2019) – When Alphabet, Inc. (Google) board members hear from investors on a shareholder proposal filed by Arjuna Capital and co-filer Proxy Impact, asking the company to publicly disclose its global median gender and racial pay gaps, including the risks inequity poses to recruiting and retaining top female talent, that message will come from TIME’S UP. 

Speaking on behalf of Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact, Sky Kelley, member of TIME’S UP, founder & CEO of Avisare and one of the first African American women ever to raise more than $1 million in VC funding, will challenge Google’s obfuscation of the importance of median gender pay gap disclosures in the tech sector.

The Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact pay equity shareholder proposal on the ballot at Alphabet, Inc.’s annual meeting for the fourth time is available for download at: https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Gender-Pay-Equity-Proposal_GOOGL_2019.pdf

Sky Kelley, representing TIME’S UP and speaking on behalf of the proposal filers Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact, said: “Google is doing an injustice to its employees and its investors by refusing to release data about both equal pay and equal opportunity, which is what the ‘median pay gap’ is. Women who work full time in the US make 80 cents on the dollar versus men, black women make 60 cents on the dollar and Latinas only 55 cents. It’s time Alphabet do what they are already doing in the UK and release their global data about median pay for women and people of color so they can finally do the important work of closing this gap once and for all.” 

To view Sky Kelley’s remarks today at the Alphabet, Inc. annual shareholder meeting, go to: https://www.timesupnow.com/shareholder_activism

Alphabet, Inc. is streaming its shareholder meeting here: https://abc.xyz/investor/other/annual-meeting/

Arjuna Capital Managing Partner Natasha Lamb said: “The obfuscation that men make less than women at Google is disturbing to smart investors, as we know men are holding a disproportionate number of high paying jobs. That’s why we’re back at the annual meeting for the fourth year in a row asking for more. Investors need more than simply equal pay for equal work data we need transparent median pay gap disclosures. Google is one of the world’s largest publicly-traded companies, employing more than 30,000 women. Its motto is ‘do the right thing.’ So, it’s time Google put its money where its mouth is. There is a business imperative for tech giants to recruit and retain women, and they can’t do that with lip service. Google should take a proactive approach to address the full extent of gender and racial pay inequity across the company and hiring problems at the very top. It’s time Google follow the lead of Citigroup and disclose its global median gender and racial pay gaps now.”

Michael Passoff, CEO, Proxy Impact and median pay gap resolution co-filer, said: “Global median pay is the most commonly used way to measure the gender pay gap in the workplace.  Annual disclosures allow investors a base line for measuring how companies are progressing in their efforts to recruit, promote, and retain female talent. Ultimately, it is both equal pay and equal opportunity that will eliminate the gender pay gap.”

Median pay is an unadjusted raw measure used by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to assess not only equal pay but equal opportunity. While median pay is the definition of the gender pay gap, that’s not how many of the US companies approached by Arjuna Capital this year are positioning it.  

In March, Google’s corporate communications took preemptive steps to rebut gender pay shareholder activists like Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact, issuing a pay equity analysis that claimed they were underpaying men, not women. Reporting by The New York Times immediately poked holes in Google’s report, which omitted key factors and showed why median pay reporting is critical as a baseline metric for understanding the scope of gender pay inequity. Google’s report narrowly compared people in the same job categories, despite reports from women employees that they are often hired into lower-tier and lower-pay positions, while men start in higher-level jobs with higher pay brackets.

Contrary to the counter narrative US companies have crafted to avoid company-wide wage data reporting, global median pay is a remarkably accurate way to measure gender equality in the workplace.  Annual disclosures allow investors a base line for measuring how companies are progressing in their efforts to recruit, promote, and retain female talent. In no way does it provide misleading optics about the opportunities available to employees.

Arjuna Capital has teamed up with TIME’S UP to highlight the importance of median pay gap disclosures so companies tell the whole story of gender and racial pay inequity. Their disclosures are already incenting companies in Europe to close the gender pay gap. Transparency is essential for investors to create accountability and drive change toward more diverse companies and leadership, and therefore better performance. 

SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISM BACKGROUND:

In the last five years, at least 64 companies have faced more than 100 shareholder resolutions on the gender pay gap. In 2015, Arjuna Capital launched the gender pay shareholder campaign when it filed a shareholder proposal with technology firm, eBay. In 2016 Proxy Impact and other investors joined this effort.

Arjuna Capital continues to lead this effort and has filed a total of 46 proposals at 23 companies in the tech, financial, and consumer sector. Twenty-two of these companies have committed to disclose and close their pay gaps on an adjusted equal pay for equal work basis, an important first step. In 2019, Arjuna is requesting more comprehensive reporting from the companies, and filed a new proposal with 12 companies requesting unadjusted global median gender and U.S. racial pay gap data. This evolution is important because while adjusted data shows if there is equal pay for equal work, unadjusted median pay data shows if there is equal opportunity to high-paying jobs.

A recent op-ed published by Lamb, describes the importance of this reporting: https://qz.com/work/1549162/the-median-gender-pay-gap-arjuna-capital-wants-the-data-revealed/

View the Gender Pay Scorecard from Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact: https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Gender-Pay-Scorecard-2019-2.pdf

ABOUT TIME’S UP:

TIME’S UP is an organization that insists on safe, fair and dignified work for women of all kinds. We want women from the factory floor to the floor of the Stock Exchange, from child care centers to C-suites, from farm fields to the tech field, to be united by a shared sense of safety, fairness and dignity as they work and as we all shift the paradigm of workplace culture.

CONTACT:  Patrick Mitchell for Arjuna Capital at (703) 276-3266 or [email protected] or Amanda Harrington for TIME’S UP at (414) 803-9556 or [email protected].

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