Facebook shareholders reject proposal for gender pay equity report

Facebook shareholders have once again rejected a proposal for Facebook to prepare a gender pay equity report to assess pay between men and women across race and ethnicity. A stockholder proposal called for Facebook to prepare a report by December 2017 around the company’s policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap. Shareholders rejected a similar proposal last year.

Facebook, whose board of directors recommended a vote against the proposal, argued that it has already been reviewing compensation fairness to ensure pay equity for years. This past April, for example, Facebook VP of People Lori Goler highlighted Facebook’s internal processes to ensure there is equal pay at the company.

“Given our ongoing compensation practices and diversity efforts, and that we have previously shared that we have pay parity, our board of directors believes that the preparation of the report contemplated by this proposal is unnecessary and not beneficial to our stockholder,” Facebook wrote in its opposing statement.

However, as noted on Facebook’s annual shareholder call today by Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital, a 2014 Glassdoor study found that female software engineers at Facebook make $5,949 less than their male counterparts.

Lamb went on to say that Facebook is put at a competitive disadvantage by not showing leadership in this area, noting how tech companies like Intel and Apple have conducted in-depth reports to assess pay equity.

The tech industry’s gender gap is close to the U.S. average (5.4 percent), and falls in the middle among industries, according to a 2016 Glassdoor study.  Meanwhile, Google is currently battling it out with the Department of Labor over allegations of pay disparities between men and women.