Citi earns high marks for disclosing disparities in gender pay

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Citigroup earned the highest grade among more than 40 large companies ranked by the investment firm Arjuna Capital on their commitment to closing the gender pay gap.

Ten out of 19 financial services companies received an "F" on the second annual gender pay scorecard, which Arjuna publishes with the shareholder advocacy group Proxy Impact. Though Citi revealed in January that women made 29% less than men across the organization, the bank was the only company to receive an "A," in large part because it actually disclosed that information.

“Only one company — Citigroup — earned our highest mark for setting a new standard for gender and racial pay equity disclosure,” Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital and lead author of the report, said in a press release. “It’s time other companies keep pace and hold themselves to a more meaningful standard.”

The scorecard is Arjuna Capital’s latest effort to push companies toward greater transparency on the pay gap between men and women on their payrolls. The rationale is that measuring and disclosing the pay difference between men and women will motivate companies to actually work toward fixing it.

The scorecard, released on Monday, graded 46 large companies on five measures: the equal pay gap; the median pay gap; the racial pay gap; coverage, or the percent of operations they disclose data for; and commitment to disclosing pay-gap data.

Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and American Express each earned a "B." Bank of America and Mastercard each earned a "C," while Goldman Sachs, KeyCorp, Citizens Financial Group and Discover all received failing grades. Under financial services, Arjuna also ranked a number of insurance companies, none of which earned higher than a "C."

In February, Arjuna Capital filed shareholder proposals with 11 large tech and financial services companies, urging them to disclose their raw pay-gap numbers.

A few companies have voluntarily revealed their adjusted pay-gap data, which factors in job title and geographic location, but equal pay advocates say that this metric doesn’t tell the whole story. Raw pay-gap data shows the pay difference across the organization, and activists say this is critical to determining whether women and minorities are concentrated in lower-paid positions.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo had asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to block Arjuna’s proposals, but the SEC denied those requests.

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