Adobe Systems reports that its women workers in the U.S. earn $1 for every dollar made by a male colleague; the British branches of banks like Barclays and Goldman Sachs under fire
They didn’t Photoshop their flaws away.
Adobe Systems, the maker of creative tools like Photoshop and InDesign, said last December that it had fully closed the gender gap among its United States workforce. According to the San Jose, Calif.-based company, female employees now make $1 for every 100 cents earned by their male counterparts after taking into account job and geographical differences.
This is up from the 99 cents per dollar gap that Adobe revealed last year after conducting a review of salary data. Since then, the iconic Silicon Valley company has undertaken certain pay adjustments while pledging to annually reveal the extent of a gender salary gap, if any. Adobe had previously said its non-white employees take home as much as their white counterparts. The moves come after the software maker signed an Obama Administration pledge last year promising to conduct regular pay reviews and work to erase unconscious biases in the human resources process.
Adobe made headlines then, but its efforts only look more laudable following the annual release of gender pay gap data among British companies, which include U.S. businesses that has significant staff there. HSBC Bank said that it had a gender pay gap of about 60%, the largest such divide among large banks, according to Reuters. More than 50% of the bank’s staff are women, but less than a quarter are in senior leadership positions.
Other financial institutions didn’t do much better. Goldman Sachs on average paid women employees there 56% less than men on average. The ratio was made worse by how much more compensation male executives received from their bonuses.
Most economists agree that there is salary disparity between men and women, with the Pew Research Center concluding that females make 83% of what their male colleagues take home. However, there is significant disagreement on the exact size of the pay gap and the reasons behind it, which may include discrimination as well as the decision to raise children.
“We were already close to pay parity in the U.S. through our strong people practices, and now we are proud to have achieved and documented this last step of full parity,” Donna Morris, Adobe’s EVP of customer & employee experience, said in a statement. She added that the company was committed to eliminating the gender pay gap among its non-American employees in 2018. India, where Adobe has significant operations, is expected to be the next country where this is achieved.
Attaining salary equality however, doesn’t mean that Adobe has gotten rid of all gender-related disparities. For instance, just two members of its 10-person board of directors are female. That’s on par with its fellow Fortune 500 companies, where women, on average, occupied 20.2% of all board seats in 2016, according to a report from the Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte. Still, that’s far from full equality.
A report issued this past fall from the Center for Investigative Reporting also found that female execs who were black, Latina or multi-racial were “non-existent” at Adobe. Trillium Asset Management, an Adobe shareholder, launched a successful campaign last year to push Adobe to publicly report its EEO-1 data, a summary of gender and racial representation at a company that is privately submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
This story was updated on March 18, 2018 with news of Goldman Sachs and HSBC’s gender pay ratios in the United Kingdom.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved