April 27, 2015

Salesforce CEO vows to decrease gender pay gap

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is conducting a thorough review of his company to make sure women are paid the same as men. Benioff is systematically examining the pay of all 16,000 of his employees to ensure wage equality.

He says his job is to “make sure that women are treated 100% equally in pay, opportunity, and advancement.” This is a radical and egalitarian mantra for the male chief-executive of a multibillion-dollar company, which could pave the way for more international firms to improve employee equality.

Benioff’s intervention comes at a time when the wage gap persists for even the most highly-skilled workers. Ten years after graduating Harvard Business School, male graduates earn above $400,000 a year while female graduates earn around $250,000.

The interim CEO of Reddit, Ellen Pao, was recently in the news for trying to fix the pay gap at her company by forbidding negotiation during the recruitment process. “If you want more equity, we’ll let you swap a little bit of your cash salary for equity, but we aren’t going to reward people who are better negotiators with more compensation,” she told the Wall Street Journal.

IZA World of Labor author Solomon W. Polachek writes in his article on how to solve the gender pay gap, “despite equal pay legislation dating back 50 years, American women still earn 22% less than their male counterparts [and] in the UK the gap is 21%.” Polackek says that the gender pay gap is relatively small for the young but increases with age, emphasizing that men are better at negotiating pay increases. Polachek adds that “clearly the gender pay gap continues to be an important policy issue.”

Read more here.

Related articles:
Equal pay legislation and the gender wage gap, by Solomon W. Polachek
Gender diversity in teams, by Ghazala Azmat