Fresh off his win in fighting discrimination against gay people, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is taking on another huge, social issue: equal pay for women.
Once again, he’s starting in the area where he has the most influence and control, his own 16,000-employee company.
He’s methodically reviewing all salary data to make sure that women are being paid equally, he told Emily Peck at the Huffington Post.
He’s already given out some raises and “I expect to be giving a lot more,” he said, “when I’m done there will be no [pay] gap.”
He also said the process of ensuring 100% equal pay for women could take a couple of years.
And he also gave a shout out to one of his top female executives, Leyla Seka, senior vice president and GM of the Desk.com business unit, saying in a tweet that shared the HuffPo article that she “inspired” him. (He promoted her to the role in early 2014.)
Salesforce is not the only tech company that has done such a process, but his attitude of publicly talking about it honestly is unique, and could become an example to others.
Microsoft went through a similar process of sorts last year after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made a public gaffe last year, advising women in tech not to ask for raises, but to have “faith that the system will give you the right raise.”
The comment caused an outcry and Nadella later said that he examined whether Microsoft is paying women equally and found that it was.
Salesforce’s pay is part of its bigger push to do better by women, a plan called Women Surge, which includes the usual steps (making sure managers seek out female candidates for job openings) and unusual steps (making sure every meeting, large and small, includes at least 1/3 women).
The company is openly recognising it has a ways to go. It’=s diversity report shows that men make up about 71% of its total employees, 80% of its tech/engineers, and 85% of its leadership.
That’s about typical for the tech industry and Benioff is determined to do better.