Sending a message out to the world about bridging the gender pay gap, social networking site Facebook and technology giant Microsoft have disclosed that they pay male and female employees equally.
The disclosure - that came on the "Equal Pay Day" on Tuesday - was announced after both the companies were pressed by Arjuna Capital, a Boston-based investment firm.
Arjuna Capital had filed shareholder proposals at each of the companies, asking these to close the gender wage gap and release salary information, Wall Street Journal reported. Facebook and Microsoft are among nine technology firms like Amazon and Apple that have faced pressure from Arjuna Capital to share wage information.
"If tech companies want to attract and retain the best talent and are going to move women into leadership roles that will make the companies more competitive, they need to pay men and women the same, and they need to be transparent about how they are doing that," Natasha Lamb, a partner at Arjuna Capital, was quoted as saying.
Facebook and Microsoft have said they have been reviewing data about how much their employees are paid for a number of years. Observing "Equal Pay Day," a study by San Francisco-based career marketplace startup Hired Inc. revealed that the gap in salaries between male and female software engineers at major corporations is 7 percent.
The data in this report was pulled from an analysis of more than 100,000 job offers across 15,000 candidates and 3,000 companies on Hired's platform. "In fact, our data a" which spans technology, sales and marketing roles a" shows that 69 percent of the time, men receive higher salary offers than women for the same job title at the same company," said Dr Jessica Kirkpatrick, Hired's lead product data scientist.
One of the most noteworthy findings in the report relates to what's known as the "expectation gap." Overall, Hired's data shows that the average woman on its platform sets her expected salary at $14,000 less per year than the average man on its platform.
"When we break the expectation gap down by role -- comparing women and men in the same job category -- we found as the ratio of men to women in the role increases, so does the gap," Kirkpatrick noted. Hired Inc hopes the findings will address this issue in two ways.
"First, by providing insight into the issue of gender bias in the workforce, we want to encourage companies to investigate their compensation policies to ensure that they don't perpetuate patterns of inequality," the report said. "Second, we want to arm women with information about this phenomenon to empower them to ask for their market worth. This issue certainly won't be solved overnight, but with both sides working together, we'll all be on a path to a more equitable future," it added.