Equal Pay Assessment


Industry: Technology 

Principle 1: Employment and compensation

Salesforce is the global leader in customer relationship management (CRM), helping companies connect with their customers in a whole new way, and has approximately 30,000 employees worldwide. Equality is a core value at Salesforce and the company is taking action to advance equality across four key areas:

"My colleague… and I brought the issue of equal pay to our CEO. …We were fortunate to have his full support and advocacy, and I'm proud of the work we've done to ensure women are paid equally for equal work at Salesforce." 
Cindy Robbins
President & Chief People Officer

1. Equal opportunity,
2. Equal education,
3. Equal rights, and
4. Equal pay.

Salesforce conducted its first all-company equal pay assessment after two senior female leaders brought the issue of pay inequality to CEO Marc Benioff's attention. The assessment showed that Salesforce needed to adjust some salaries—for both men and women. Salesforce spent nearly $3 million dollars in 2016 to address statistically significant differences in pay. Approximately 6% of employees required a salary adjustment, and roughly the same number of women and men were impacted.

In 2017, Salesforce increased the scope of its assessment to evaluate both salaries and bonuses globally. It also looked at differences in pay by race and ethnicity as well as by gender. Following its second assessment, 11% of employees received salary adjustments, and 68% of impacted employees were women. Salesforce spent approximately $3 million again to address any unexplained differences in pay.

Salesforce continues to address statistically significant differences in pay, as pay equality is a moving target for growing companies in competitive industries and salaries must be consistently monitored and addressed. As part of its overall commitment to advancing equality for all, Salesforce now reviews salaries for gender discrepancies on an ongoing basis. If it finds a pay gap, Salesforce works to close it - making equal pay a part of the company’s DNA. 

How does this model practice work?

"I am an extrovert by nature, and have always been bullish in advocating for my career. So when I got notified that I received a pay adjustment, I was not only surprised, but I was grateful to know my company would have my back - even when I didn’t know I needed it." 
Anika Balkan
Program Manager

The Salesforce salary assessment methodology analyzed the employee population based on objective factors that determine pay such as job function, level, and location. The assessment grouped employees in comparable roles and analyzed salaries and bonuses of those groups to determine whether there were unexplained differences between women and men, as well as between races and ethnicities. If there were, Salesforce made adjustments. For example, if there was a disparity in pay for an employee due to both gender and race, Salesforce adjusted their pay based on the highest disparity. With the goal of equality top of mind, Salesforce will continue to focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion at all levels. 

How can I adopt this model practice in my workplace?

It starts by making equality a core value and equal pay a corporate priority. As with any major organizational change, you need to get buy-in from the top. Salesforce also suggests looking at the data. Every company has HR data available — you just need to ask for it. The data will tell the story. The nature of pay equity proves that it is a moving target, especially for growing companies in competitive industries. Thus, it must be consistently monitored and addressed. 
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