SEC Says Amazon Ought to Permit Shareholder Vote on Gender Pay

Amazon ought to permit shareholders to vote on a proposal on gender pay equality, the U.S. securities regulator determined this week in rejecting the retailer’s request to omit the measure from its annual poll.

Arjuna Capital, the activist arm of funding agency Baldwin Brothers Inc, stated it submitted the proposal to Amazon and eight different know-how corporations, together with eBay Inc and Intel.

SEC Says Amazon Should Allow Shareholder Vote on Gender Pay SEC Says Amazon Should Allow Shareholder Vote on Gender Pay

Solely Amazon sought permission from the Securities and Change Fee to omit the proposal, Arjuna stated.

Arjuna referred to as for an October deadline for Amazon to report the distinction between males’ and females’ pay and its plans to shut the hole, in response to a submitting on the SEC’s web site.

Whereas such proposals usually face lengthy odds, simply getting one on the poll of a excessive-profile firm like Amazon could be a catalyst for change.

In a ruling on Tuesday, the SEC stated it didn’t agree with Amazon that the proposal was "so inherently obscure or indefinite" that it will impede implementation.

Amazon, which estimates that as of July ladies made up 39 % of its international workforce and 24 % of managers, didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon whether or not it might embrace the proposal on its poll.

"We’re dedicated to pretty and equitably compensating all our staff, and we evaluate all worker compensation on at the least an annual foundation to make sure that it meets that bar," Amazon stated in an emailed assertion.

Amazon added that it was already working with organizations similar to Code.org, the Anita Borg Institute and Women Who Code to extend ladies’s and minorities’ involvement within the know-how business.

The SEC ruling comes as know-how corporations face scrutiny over variety and compensation fairness points.

"It isn’t merely a social justice concern," stated Natasha Lamb, director of shareholder engagement at Arjuna. "It is a problem that impacts efficiency, impacts the corporate’s potential to draw and retain prime expertise."

Lamb stated Arjuna withdrew proposals at Apple Inc and Intel after they took motion on the difficulty. Intel, for instance, earmarked $300 million for variety and stated it discovered its female and male staff have been equally paid.

EBay shareholders rejected Arjuna’s first proposal on gender pay fairness final yr after the board opposed it. Arjuna stated it resubmitted the proposal at eBay this yr and expanded its effort to a complete of 9 corporations.

EBay declined to remark.