We’re continuing to see commentary on pay gap disclosures, and the most recent being a press release from Arjuna Capital announcing Adobe has become the fourth Fortune 500 company, and the first tech company, that’s agreed to disclose unadjusted pay gap data. Unadjusted pay gap compares the median earnings of women and minorities in the US to the median pay of men & non-minorities and can be an indicator of these groups’ opportunities for advancement. The press release says Arjuna Capital agreed to withdraw a 2021 shareholder proposal calling for Adobe to provide median race and gender pay gap disclosures after Adobe agreed to provide the gender data now. Arjuna has requested that Adobe disclose racial pay gap data before 2022.
Liz blogged last week about how the amendments to Rule 14a-8 may impact pay gap shareholder proposals. Arjuna Capital’s press release says that in the 2020 proxy season, Arjuna submitted a total of 13 shareholder proposals calling for median race and gender pay equity disclosures. During the 2020 proxy season, a Sullivan & Cromwell report (page 13) shows average shareholder support for pay gap proposals fell from 22% in 2019 to 13% in 2020 (none passed). At least for now though, Arjuna Capital seems to be pressing ahead with pay gap proposals, here’s an excerpt from the press release with comments from Natasha Lamb, managing partner of Arjuna Capital:
The question that remains is which of America’s other bellwether companies will be leaders and which will hold this data close to the vest. The push for median race and gender pay equity is going to be a major issue in the 2021 shareholder season. We need more companies to follow Adobe’s lead, prioritize diversity in a meaningful way, and step forward with an honest accounting of pay equity.
-Lynn Jokela, CompensationStandards.com December 7, 2020
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