BOSTON, May 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — In a first of its kind vote, 8.5 percent of eBay shareholders voted in favor of a shareholder proposal to close the gender pay gap at the tech giant.
The shareholder proposal, filed by Arjuna Capital, the sustainable wealth platform of Baldwin Brothers Inc., is the first calling for a goal to close the gender pay gap that has been put to the proxy ballot of a U.S. corporation.
eBay’s Board publicly opposed the proposal, stating its implementation was not in the best interests of eBay and its shareholders. In contrast, tech peer Salesforce pledged to eliminate the pay gap in the weeks prior to eBay’s annual meeting.
The median income for a woman working full time in the United States is 78 percent that of her male counterparts and forecasts indicate that at the current rate of change, women will not reach pay parity until 2058. The technology industry, in particular, struggles to attract and retain female employees, and women in the field earn$10,000 less than men, on average.
Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement at Arjuna Capital said, “A proactive approach to closing the gender pay gap is in the best interest of shareholders. The structural bias keeping tech companies from attracting and retaining top female talent is harming their ability to innovate and compete. eBay is the business of innovation and creating gender diverse teams is a key innovation driver.”
Pressure has been mounting to address a wage gap that leaves women in a more vulnerable financial position than their male counterparts. The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 is pending before Congress to improve transparency and penalties for equal-pay violations. In January, President Obama highlighted the issue during the State of the Union address. And Patricia Arquette caught the public eye in February when she called for “wage equality once and for all.”
“The gender pay gap poses a risk to companies’ performance, brand, and investor returns,” said Lamb. “Investors cannot afford to wait 30 years for the gap to close. eBay can and should commit to gender pay equality today.”
ARJUNA CAPITAL & BALDWIN BROTHERS
Arjuna Capital is the sustainable wealth management platform of Baldwin Brothers Inc., an SEC-registered independent financial advisory firm. www.arjuna-capital.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: Natasha Lamb, (978) 578-4123, [email protected]
SOURCE Arjuna Capital, Boston