CEO Takes Wage Equality Into His Own Hands

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News
Good news for women fighting for wage equality: We have allies in some pretty high places. Take Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who's making headlines this week by talking about his very hands-on approach to the problem. He told Huffington Post that he's personally looking at the salaries of all 16,000 employees of his cloud-based customer relations management company to make sure men and women are being paid equally.

"My job is to make sure that women are treated 100 percent equally at Salesforce in pay, opportunity and advancement," he told the site. They're being quite open about their progress on these fronts, too, posting numbers breaking down the race and gender of employees.  Currently, women make up only 29 percent of the company overall, with 20 percent of the tech jobs, and 15 percent of the leadership positions. The process of achieving equality could take years, Benioff said.

Benioff is bold to take on this no-doubt tedious task himself, but Salesforce isn't the only company making such initiatives known. Google has been making strides in attempts to remove "unconscious bias" from discussions about promotion and pay. To make up for the fact that statistically men negotiate harder for their salaries than women, Reddit CEO Ellen Pao did away with salary negotiation altogether.
It actually makes a lot of sense for tech companies to take big steps in this direction, as they're constantly in competition to attract the best and brightest employees. If you want to get a little bit cynical, Salesforce is also rumored to be up for acquisition by a big tech name (as in, ones that rhyme with zicrosoft or schmoogle), and this kind of positive press can't hurt. But hey, if companies want to bring women up in the ranks to get good ink, we'll take it.       
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