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Activist investor demands that Google provide more data on its gender pay gap

Activist investor demands that Google provide more data on its gender pay gap
[Photo: Mike Wilson]

You may not have heard of Natasha Lamb, but she’s quickly becoming a David fighting the Goliaths of tech to ensure women are paid as much as their male counterparts in the same jobs. As managing partner at Arjuna CapitalLamb has pushed eBay, Amazon, Google, Expedia, Facebook, Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, and Intel for more transparency in reporting pay.

In a letter to Alphabet’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Lamb is taking a hard line as the tech giant continues to refuse to provide more data while insisting to the New York Times that its female employees earned 99.7 cents to every dollar earned by men.

The Department of Labor has already moved to force the company to disclose pay and a group of women who used to work at Google have filed a class-action suit claiming that the company is violating labor laws by paying women less than men for “substantially similar work” and “segregated” them into lower-paying jobs.

Lamb and Arjuna Capital aren’t suing but they’re proposing that the company provide shareholders with a complete report instead of relying “on platitudes that there is no gap, trust us.” Lamb’s letter asks Google why data provided to the Times wasn’t offered in response to their proposal, and it questions why only 95% of the workforce was included, leaving out highly paid vice presidents and the C-suite.  As Lamb points out:

“Stalling tactics do nothing but confirm suspicions that the company has either something to hide or such a callous attitude toward women that it can’t  be bothered to address the issue of gender pay equity at the level and in the manner it deserves.”LD