Shareholders Accuse Google and Alphabet of Withholding Gender Pay Gap Data – September 27, 2017

Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL Free Report) and its Google subsidiary have found themselves at the center of the latest round of questions related to gender pay equity in Silicon Valley. This time, sustainable investing firm Arjuna Capital is accusing the tech behemoth of ducking requests for relevant data and failing to take meaningful action to close the gender pay gap.

In an open letter to Eric Schmidt, Alphabet’s executive chairman, Arjuna Capital managing partner Natasha Lamb expressed her disappointment over the company’s failure to respond to shareholder proposals on the subject.

“After shooting down gender pay equity shareholder proposals for two years running, and now in the wake of contradictory data about the treatment of women at the U.S. tech leader, the board and management of Alphabet Inc./Google must present a detailed report on their gender pay gap data,” an Arjuna Capital press release said.

In the letter, Lamb detailed a meeting with Schmidt at Alphabet’s shareholder meeting earlier this year. According to Lamb, Schmidt indicated that their dialogue on the matter could continue, but she was later “deflected” by the person she was referred to.

At this same event, Arjuna’s proposal asking Alphabet to disclose its gender pay gap, which was co-filed by Baldwin Brothers and Proxy Impact, was rejected for the second time.

“The disclosures we have sought and continue to seek have become common practice in Silicon Valley and amongst your technology peers. Yet Alphabet has refused to disclose the company’s gender pay gap in a transparent, quantitative manner. Instead the company has relied on platitudes that there is no gap, trust us,” Lamb wrote.

Arjuna’s letter also pointed out that Alphabet’s lack of transparency on gender pay equity has made it the subject of various federal, class action, and shareholder actions. Lamb argued that concerned shareholders simply cannot ignore these issues if they are truly are…

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