Amazon Survey Shows Equal Gender Pay Among Its Workforce

Dow Jones Newswires

Amazon.com Inc., under pressure to release details of gender pay equality, said it found that among its U.S. workforce, women and men earn essentially the same.

The Seattle-based online retailer was rebuffed earlier this month by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its effort to exclude a proposal on its annual shareholder ballot that would require more disclosure on pay. The proposal was put forth by Amazon shareholder Arjuna Capital, a unit of investment firm Baldwin Brothers Inc.

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In its survey, which included its entire U.S. staff including thousands of warehouse workers, Amazon found that women's compensation in 2015 was 99.9% of men's in equivalent jobs. Further, minorities make 100.1% of what white workers earn, Amazon said.

"There will naturally be slight fluctuations from year to year, but at Amazon we are committed to keeping compensation fair and equitable," Amazon said in an emailed statement.

Gender-pay discrepancies have become a hot-button issue, with some U.S. presidential candidates weighing in and President Barack Obama outlining rules that would require more compensation disclosure. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the median pay of women was 21% less than men's, though other studies have found a narrower gap.

Arjuna has also called for a number of tech companies to release data on gender pay. Apple Inc. at its shareholder meeting said women's pay was 99.6% of men and minorities' pay was 99.7% of white employees, while Intel Corp. found no compensation discrepancy among its U.S. workforce. Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others face similar shareholder proposals.

Still, women make up just 39% of Amazon's workforce and just 24% in management jobs, according to a review Amazon released last summer.

Write to Greg Bensinger at greg.bensinger@wsj.com

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