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Pfizer gets A on Scorecard for Equal Pay Day

Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact released the sixth Racial and Gender Pay Scorecard on Equal Pay Day, March 15, and surprise, surprise, women and persons of colour continue to be paid less than their white male peers. However, when it comes to quantitative disclosures in relation to reducing racial and gender pay discrepancies, one drugmaker, Pfizer, receives an A. Biogen, the other pharma on the list, scored an F, which doesn’t necessarily imply the company is failing, but it does suggest the corporation has refused to release quantitative data on the subject.

Of course, this isn’t always a positive sign. The healthcare sector, according to the research (PDF), has the “fifth largest adjusted gender pay disparity out of 22 industries, at 5.7 percent,” according to Glassdoor. Since 2015, the difference has narrowed by 1.5 percent. The smallest adjusted gender pay gap is claimed to be in biotech and pharmaceuticals, at 2.2 percent, up 0.8 percent from 2015.”

The scores are based on quantitative disclosures (rather than qualitative promises) about the company’s efforts to address and close racial and gender pay disparities. The rankings are based on investor engagement through the shareholder proposal process, in which corporations were encouraged to increase their public pay equity disclosures.

Equal Pay Day is a moving target, as it is determined by how far into the year the average median woman needs work (plus last year’s earnings) to earn what the average median man earned for the full previous year. The good news is that the date has been moving higher each year, which is a positive trend. It’s important to remember that workplace diversity isn’t about offering someone any favours; rather, it benefits the firm and the industry, according to Passoff.

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