Center On Executive Compensation

Arjuna’s Expanded Pay Equity Scorecard Unveils New A-Listers

Activist investor, Arjuna Capital, nearly doubled the number of companies evaluated in this year’s Racial & Gender Pay Equity Scorecard from 68 to 128, yet only one joined Target – last year’s lone top ranked company – with an A+ grade.

Why it matters: The pressure for large companies to report unadjusted gaps globally is mounting and compliance with different laws across the globe has become a hurdle. This year, there are 15 U.S. companies that publish unadjusted median racial, and gender pay gaps – many of which earned an A grade based on Arjuna’s criteria. 7 additional companies have committed to doing so next year earning “partial credit” for their commitments.

  • This year, despite legal battles and labor challenges, Starbucks was given an A+ rating due to “strong pay equity performance and comprehensive disclosure of all racial and gender pay gap metrics.” 

Go Deeper: Arjuna has been at the forefront of investors pushing for raw pay gap disclosure, arguing that the more typical adjusted “equal pay for equal work” disclosures do not consider the full scope of representation issues as” pay inequality persists across race and gender and no industries or geographies are immune.”

They claim the main focus is on the transparency itself, not the pay gap data results itself. However, Arjuna boldly states, “This Scorecard does not award for qualitative assurances.”  Two companies on the A list had median pay gaps of nearly 23%, but included detailed explanations and plans to remediate the issues. Leaders and laggards are broken down by industry and the study compares who is improving or slipping from the prior year.

Follow the leader: Citigroup’s pay equity journey is cited as the first to report the global median pay gap for women and median U.S. minority pay gap in 2019.  Since then, Citi has improved these gaps by 7% for women and 3% for minorities. Citi has publicly committed to include salary ranges on all U.S. job postings and describes how their 2025 aspirational representation goals are embedded in their business strategy.

Learn more: Look out next week for an invitation to our May 2 joint webinar with HR Policy Global to discuss how the EU Pay Transparency Directive will impact any business operating in these countries and how it may set the stage for future U.S. pay legislation at the federal level.

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Authors: Megan Wolf



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