Silicon Valley is using Tuesday’s Equal Pay Day in the U.S. to try to remind the world that it isn’t the worst offender when it comes to treating male and female coworkers equally — at least with salary. Facebook and Microsoft have succumbed to pressure from investment firm Arjuna Capital and disclosed their salary data.
Equal Pay Day, April 12, marks the day into the year that women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Created by the National Committee on Pay Equity, Equal Pay Day was launched in 1996 to bring awareness to the gender wage gap — an issue that has taken center stage over the last couple of years, particularly with 2016’s presidential race.
Tech companies have come under fire in particular for misogynistic statements from their executives, sexist hiring practices, the exclusion of women from higher echelons and positions, and their general failure, like many other prominent American companies, at elevating women as employees and ensuring fair practices. Arjuna called on nine major tech companies to disclose their pay data. Facebook and Microsoft responded by disclosing that they pay their male and female employees equally. (The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon and Apple are among some of the other high-profile tech giants on the hot seat.)
Despite those reveals by Facebook and Microsoft, the power players are by no means setting the stage for other companies to unveil pay data. Intel released numbers in February exposing its 100% gender pay parity in the U.S.
Arjuna’s pressure on these big names echoes deeper, mounting pressure from U.S. consumers on Silicon Valley. Users see those companies as beacons of innovation, and as such, they should represent the new generation of fair pay.