TJX should disclose and reduce its pay gap

Ask TJX to report on company policies and goals to identify and reduce inequities in compensation due to gender, race, or ethnicity within its workforce.

The median income for women working full time in the U.S. is reportedly approximately 80 percent of that of their male counterparts.According to Economic Policy Institute, average hourly wages for black men are 78 percent of those of similarly situated white men. Wages for black women are 66 percent of those of comparable white men and 88 percent of those received by white women.

Women hold just over one half of retail industry positions, but women are underrepresented in higher paying retail management positions and overrepresented in low paying front line jobs. According to Demos, “retail employers pay Black and Latino full-time retail salespersons just 75 percent of the wages of their white peers.”

Stubborn pay gaps have attracted attention from national media and policymakers. Regulatory risk exists as the Paycheck Fairness Act, pending in Congress, would aim to improve company-level transparency and strengthen penalties for equal pay violations. California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York have passed strong equal pay legislation.

Proper attention to inclusion and equity promotes effective human capital management. According to McKinsey, companies in the top quartiles for gender and racial/ethnic diversity were more likely to have financial returns above the industry median (“Why diversity matters,” McKinsey, 2015). In a Catalyst report, racial and gender diversity were positively associated with more customers, increased sales revenue, and greater relative profits. (“Why Diversity Matters,” Catalyst, 2013).

Leading companies are addressing diversity and inclusion via pay equity. In 2014, Gap Inc released data showing wage parity between male and female workers. Amazon, Apple, Costco, Intel, and Starbucks have committed to report on gender pay gaps. Intel and Microsoft have begun publishing pay gap data covering gender and race.

TJX reports that people of color account for 56 percent of the Company’s U.S. workforce but only 32 percent of its managers. TJX has taken steps to promote diversity; however, there is no reporting on gender, race, or ethnic pay gaps.