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US insurer commits to 100% gender pay equity goal

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Reinsurance Group of America Inc. has agreed to disclose its gender pay gap to shareholders by the end of 2018, with a goal of 100% pay equity, in response to a shareholder proposal filed by Arjuna Capital.

The Chesterfield, Missouri-based life and health insurer is the first U.S. insurance company to commit to 100% gender pay equity in response to shareholder pressure, according to a statement published by Durham, North Carolina-based investment fund Arjuna Capital on Tuesday. The insurer is the eighth U.S. company since Jan. 15 to agree to the terms of Arjuna’s proposal, with the investment fund withdrawing its shareholder proposal on March 29 in response to the insurer’s commitment.

“The RGA agreement represents a meaningful first step toward gender pay equity in the insurance industry,” Natasha Lamb, managing partner, Arjuna Capital, said in the statement. “By committing to best practice disclosure and 100% gender pay equity, Reinsurance Group has now set the bar for an industry that has struggled with an outsized gender pay gap. We commend the company’s pledge to create pay equity in their workforce and report to shareholders by the end of 2018.”

The insurer could not be immediately reached for comment.

Several U.S. insurers and brokers have filed their gender pay gap data with the government in the United Kingdom, including New York-based American International Group Inc. and Travelers Cos. Inc.

U.K. organizations with 250 or more employees are required to publish specific data about their gender pay gaps and a written statement, and report their data to the government online, beginning from 2017. The requirement was enshrined in the Equality Act of 2010, with the regulations coming into effect on April 5, 2017. The deadline to publish is Wednesday.