Although the gender pay gap is still a problem virtually everywhere, some companies are better about not underpaying female employees than others. For instance, Amazon reports they have eliminated the gender pay gap among their own employees — and that there is also no pay imbalance between white employees and employees of color. This doesn't mean that everything is perfect, but it is a start — and an important one, at that.
This new information comes from a report released by Amazon after requests from some of its investors that the company come clean about the gender breakdown of pay within the company. A review of compensation from 2015 shows that women make an average of 99.9 percent of that earned by men in the same job, and that employees of color make 100.1 percent of that earned by white employees in the same jobs. In other words, there is essentially no racial or gender pay gap at Amazon.
And that is a big deal. The average gender pay gap in the United States is typically calculated to be somewhere around 78 or 79 percent (that is, white women make about 79 percent of what white men make, with the number dropping for women of color), and it's estimated that we as a country won't close its gap until around 2058. So it's pretty cool that a company has managed to get so far ahead of the curve.
And people are excited about it. As Natasha Lamb, spokesperson for Arjuna Capitol, which encouraged the disclosure, told USA Today, “Some companies are stepping up and committing to address the issue [of the gender pay gap]. It’s obvious that Amazon has done that in terms of their policies and practices, and we’re happy with that." Folks are also taking to Twitter on the matter:
Again, the larger problem does still exist, and it likely will for some time. But we're making progress, and every little bit counts.