An internal review of employee compensation at Amazon has found that women and men in the same jobs at the company make essentially the same amount, the company announced today. In addition, the company said that pay for minorities is also on par with that of white employees.
Amazon said in a statement today, “Our recent review of the compensation we awarded last year at Amazon – including both base and stock – resulted in women earning 99.9 cents for every dollar that men earn in the same jobs, and minorities earning 100.1 cents for every dollar that white employees earn in the same jobs. There will naturally be slight fluctuations from year to year, but at Amazon we are committed to keeping compensation fair and equitable.”
The disclosure comes after an activist shareholder group, led by Arjuna Capital and Baldwin Brothers Inc., submitted a resolution for Amazon’s upcoming shareholder meeting calling on the company to publicly report the difference in overall compensation for male and female employees, and its goal for closing the gap. Arjuna submitted the proposal as part of a broader push to compel tech companies to report their gender pay gap.
The development comes amid a rising focus on the gender pay gap across the tech industry. The Seattle-based tech giant opposed the inclusion of the resolution on its ballot for its June shareholder meeting, but the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the company’s request.
With the disclosure, Arjuna Capital is withdrawing its resolution, said Natasha Lamb, Arjuna’s director of equity research and shareholder engagement. “We are pleased Amazon is stepping up in response to investor concerns about gender pay equity,” Lamb said in a statement.
She added, “What we know is that a ‘trust me, women are paid fairly’ approach is not enough, and a defensive approach to gender pay equity will not solve the problem. At the current rate of change, the gender pay gap is not expected to close for another 40 years. This is not only bad for society, it is bad for business. Fostering gender diverse teams leads to more innovative better performing companies. Companies can and should commit to closing the gender pay gap, as Amazon has done today. But it won’t happen without bold leadership.”
Arjuna praised Intel and Apple for making similar disclosures. The investment group has is pursuing resolutions on gender-pay disclosures at six other technology companies: Expedia, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, eBay, and Adobe.
Nationally, women are paid an average of 78 cents for every dollar men earn, the firm notes, citing data from recruiting firm Dice showing that men in the tech industry earned nearly $10,000 dollars more than women on average in 2014.