The Advisors' Blog

This blog features wisdom from respected compensation consultants and lawyers

April 6, 2020

Gender Pay Gap Proposals Continue

– Lynn Jokela

Last year, Liz blogged about gender pay gap proposals and how Citigroup was the first company to post unadjusted “pay gap” numbers on its website.  Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact recently issued their 2020 “Gender Pay Scorecard” and this year, Mastercard and Starbucks joined Citigroup on top of the list.  The scorecard ranks 50 large companies on their pay equity disclosures.

Like last year, half of the companies included in the scorecard received a failing grade, so despite progress at the top of the list, it doesn’t sound like progress for everyone.  The report also recaps the six-year history of gender pay gap proposals and although the proposals continue, so far this year the pace of proposals appears to be slowing down with 19 proposals submitted as compared to 29 last year.  Here’s an excerpt:

As of March 2020, 19 proposals have been filed, with several more likely to be filed before the end of the year. Most of these proposals ask for median pay gap reports and several ask for racial, ethnic and gender pay data.

Thirteen of this year’s proposals are resubmissions, with nearly all of them targeting companies that averaged more than a 30% vote in 2019. Most of these companies have received three or more pay equity proposals already. These companies have either not provided gender/racial pay gap disclosure or still have significant omissions in their reporting.

For another look at pay equity, here is JUST Capital’s recent analysis saying that it’s still critically important in the time of coronavirus. Among other things, the non-profit found “companies that disclose they’ve conducted a pay equity analysis report, on average, an 8 percentage point higher mean 5-year ROE compared to their counterparts.”