The Advisors' Blog

This blog features wisdom from respected compensation consultants and lawyers

March 13, 2022

Pay Equity: Arjuna Proposal Notches a Win

Shareholders just raised the stakes for pay equity proposals. Although fewer resolutions made it onto ballots last year, that simply means that some companies recognized that it’s a gamble to put these to a vote – not necessarily that proponents are slowing down. Arjuna Capital scored a notable win last week at The Walt Disney Co., garnering approval from 59.6% of voting shareholders according to the company’s Form 8-K. That outcome was despite the company’s opposition in the proxy statement and additional soliciting material. Here’s the resolution in full:

Shareholders request Disney report on both median and adjusted pay gaps across race and gender, including associated policy, reputational, competitive, and operational risks, and risks related to recruiting and retaining diverse talent. The report should be prepared at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary information, litigation strategy and legal compliance information.

Racial/gender pay gaps are defined as the difference between non-minority and minority/male and female median earnings expressed as a percentage of non-minority/male earnings (Wikipedia/OECD, respectively).

According to this article, this is one of the first shareholder proposals to pass at Disney in several years. The entertainment giant publishes EEO-1 data, but that was not enough here. The proponent noted that the company does not currently report its unadjusted or adjusted pay gaps – and that an increasing number of companies are doing so. If your company is considering a pay equity audit, we have a checklist for that.

Liz Dunshee