Amazon says women earn as much as men in response to pay query

By Spencer Soper, Laura Colby

Amazon was the only technology company that sought to block the shareholder resolution on gender pay. Photo / Getty Images
Amazon was the only technology company that sought to block the shareholder resolution on gender pay. Photo / Getty Images

Women working for Amazon.com in the US earned 99.9 cents for every $1 men earned doing the same jobs in 2015, the company said today, responding to activist investors pushing technology companies to close the gender pay gap.

Amazon said it hired an independent labour economist to conduct the study, which was completed "recently."

"At Amazon, we are committed to keeping compensation fair and equitable," the company said in a statement, adding that minority employees earned 100.1 cents for every $1 white employees in the same positions earned.

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Arjuna Capital, the activist division of Marion, Massachusetts-based investment firm Baldwin Brothers, submitted a proposal asking Amazon to conduct a report on gender pay this year.

Amazon wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking permission to omit the resolution from its proxy materials, arguing it was so "vague and indefinite" that it would be unable to determine what actions the proposal requires. The SEC disagreed.

"This is exactly what we asked them to do," said Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement at Arjuna. "We are very pleased that Amazon is stepping up to investor concerns about gender pay equity, and we will withdraw our resolution."

Arjuna said Amazon was the only technology company that sought to block the shareholder resolution on gender pay.

Apple and Intel reported earlier this year that their gender pay gap either is already closed or will be shortly.

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