Business

Amazon says it pays women equally

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Amazon reveals it pays its women employees 99.9 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same work.
Amazon reveals it pays its women employees 99.9 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same work.

Amazon.com, under pressure from an activist shareholder to disclose its policies on gender pay equality, said yesterday its female employees earned as much as their male counterparts, according to a survey it recently conducted.

The claim comes as US companies face criticism on the issue of pay equality, especially in the male-dominated technology sector.

The Seattle-based online retailer disclosed the results of its study after pressure from Arjuna Capital, the activist arm of investment firm Baldwin Brothers, which has been pushing it to prepare a report on gender pay equity.

Arjuna withdrew its original proposal after Amazon announced the results of its gender pay study yesterday.

"We are pleased Amazon is stepping up in response to investor concerns about gender pay equity," said Natasha Lamb, director of shareholder engagement at Arjuna, calling on Amazon to further report on its policies and goals to close the gender pay gap.

Amazon, which estimates women made up 39% of its global workforce and 24% of managers as of July, said a review of compensation, including both base pay and stock compensation, found women earned 99.9 cents for every dollar that men earned in the same jobs.

The survey, which was conducted by an external labour economist, covered Amazon workers at various levels of the company's organisation in the United States.

"There will naturally be slight fluctuations from year to year, but at Amazon we are committed to keeping compensation fair and equitable," the company said in a statement.

The study, which was recently completed, also found minorities earned 100.1 cents for every dollar that white employees earn in the same jobs.

The US securities regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, said last week that Amazon should allow shareholders to vote on a proposal on gender pay equality put forward by Arjuna, after the company had sought permission to omit the proposal from its proxy statement.

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