Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 28, 2017

Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual Meeting

Kimberly Tribou
Pages 311-323

Separate but Not Equal (Remuneration)
Firm Disclosures of the Wage Gap

The “wage gap” statistically refers to the fact that the median wage of an American woman is 79% of the median wage of an American man. This paper examines the extent to which companies disclose equitable pay as recommended by GRI standards and in advance of a proposed Obama-era presidential mandate. Using the incidence of and content from disclosures contained in firm standalone sustainability reports, I find that firms did not significantly increase their disclosure of compensation and remuneration policies or their disclosure of policies intended to promote equal representation of women and equal compensation of women. My results thus support the difficulty in identifying and quantifying the wage gap and suggest that significant action – actions extending beyond new laws, proposed regulatory requirements, or sustainability accounting frameworks – is required to motivate corporate social change.