Gender pay equality has been a hot topic in recent years as a clear and persistent gender gap in compensation has come to light across industries.
Now, two companies – investment firm Arjuna Capital and shareholder advocate Proxy Impact – are taking steps to hold large corporations accountable, publishing a Gender Pay Scorecard that ranks 46 of the world’s largest companies based on pay equity.
Out of those 46 massive corporations – among them McDonalds, Walmart, and American Express – only one nabbed an A rating, and that stand-out was Citigroup.
Citigroup’s stellar ranking reflects the company’s disclosure of equal pay initiatives that include median pay along racial and gender lines.
Citi received a 99% rating for fairly adjusting compensation, bonuses and equity components across genders and races.
“Citigroup’s No. 1 ranking reflects its leadership as the only company to report its global median gender and U.S. median racial pay gaps,” the report stated. “All other companies receive a sub-category score of 0 for lack of a global median and U.S. racial pay gap disclosure.”
Other companies in the financial services sector did not fare so well, with 10 out of 19 receiving an “F” for a lack of quantitative reporting, commitments to equal pay and global coverage.
Here are the rankings for companies that operate in the mortgage lending space:
B: Bank of New York Mellon
B: Wells Fargo
C: Bank of America
F: Arthur J. Gallagher
F: Goldman Sachs
F: Key Corp
F: Citizens Financial Group
F: Hartford Financial Services
F: Lincoln National
F: Discover Financial Services
In the financial services space, gender inequality is a systemic problem, the report said.
“Wall Street has been rife with gender imbalance, sexual discrimination, and few women in the top ranks. Women represent over 50% of employees in the finance sector, but a minority of executive and board positions,” the report stated.
In some cases, the report noted, the situation is so discouraging that female executives working in financial services are 20-30% more likely to leave their careers than those working in other sectors.
According to the report, Glassdoor found an unexplained 5.6% gender pay gap in the financial industry, among the highest of the industries analyzed. While that gap has improved 0.8% in the last four years, that simply isn’t enough.
“It’s clear that attracting, retaining, and moving more women into high paying positions is critical to gender equity on Wall Street,” the report stated.
Proxy CEO and report co-author Michael Passoff said numerous studies demonstrate the fact that women are paid less than men across industries, and companies are likely to face repercussions in a society that is increasingly finding this unacceptable.
“This is a key challenge for companies as they face reputational risk, consumer backlash, new legislation, and governmental and employee lawsuits,” Passoff said. “While salary policies can help ensure equal pay for equal work, providing equal opportunity to move up the corporate ladder requires more specific action from management, including better recruitment, development and retention. Ultimately, it is both equal pay and equal opportunity that will eliminate the gender pay gap.”
Here is the scorecard ranking all 46 of the world’s largest companies across industries: