Irene Knapp, a software engineer for Google, presented a proposal at the annual shareholder meeting, requesting Alphabet to consider specific metrics in incentive plans, with a focus on diversity and inclusion in the workforce.
The Alphabet Inc. shareholders backed by employees, however, voted down the proposals that would tie pay to diversity goals to promote equal wages among females and people of color.
According to the reports, three different shareholder proposals addressed diversity. One solicited a report outlining Alphabet’s gender pay gap across its global operations; another aimed to tie Alphabet executives’ pay to diversity and inclusion measure. The third called for attaching more conservative thinkers to Alphabet’s board. All three proposals, along with four other shareholder proposals, were voted down in line with the company’s recommendations.
Notwithstanding Alphabet shareholders voting against the measure, Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy said the company was committed to having diverse genders and backgrounds among its board members. He was quoted saying, "We take the issue of diversity seriously. That’s reflected in the makeup of our board. For every new Alphabet board opening, we will consider candidates of underrepresented colors and different genders.”
A proposal which did get the approval at the shareholders’ meeting was the re-election of the company’s 11-person board of directors including Hennessy, Sundar Pichai, Alphabet Chief Executive Larry Page and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.