Like many other companies, Altria has worked hard – for years – on being inclusive. Today, we have one of the most diverse leadership teams we've ever had: almost 40% are women and/or people of color. Altria also benefits from a diverse board, with one-third of independent director seats held by women.
Within Altria, similar to national trends, we've made progress advancing women, in particular white women, to the Vice President level and higher. But we have more work to do to give female colleagues from underrepresented groups the same opportunities.
When it comes to pay equity for women, our results are better. Altria has a long-standing practice of reviewing salaries to mitigate potential inequities. For more than 20 years, Altria's Compensation team has regularly run statistical analyses to identify unexplained pay discrepancies and address them with salary adjustments. Based on the most recent annual analysis conducted at Altria in November 2019, salaries of female employees were 99.7% of those of our male employees and salaries of our non-white employees were 99.5% of those of our white employees after adjusting for factors generally considered to be legitimate differentiators of salary (e.g. performance and salary grade).
Our work to advance women and women of color includes benchmarking with other companies and working with nonprofits who conduct research on the topic. A key nonprofit with this expertise is Catalyst, a global organization that focuses on accelerating progress for women within business and on corporate boards. To further the goal of getting more women into the boardroom, in 2019, we announced a $1 million one-time grant to Catalyst to support its Women On Board program, designed to champion qualified women board candidates by pairing them with sitting corporate directors – who are primarily white men – for a two-year period. This aims to disrupt old patterns and unconscious bias through the proven effectiveness of 1-on-1 sponsorship.