Meet The (Male) CEO Promising Equal Pay For Women

CEOs are starting to wake up to the gender pay gap and do something about it. Here are two examples.

Marc Benioff doesn’t yet know what the gender pay gap is among his company’s employees, but he has vowed to eliminate it.

“My job is to make sure that women are treated 100 percent equally at Salesforce in pay, opportunity and advancement,” the chief executive tells the Huffington Post.

As we reported on National Equal Pay Day last week, nationwide women earn an average of 78.3 cents for every $1 a man earns. There are only nine jobs where women earn more than men, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last month for Women’s History Month.

But Benioff, who founded Salesforce in 1999 and is also chairman of its board of directors, has tasked himself with reviewing the salaries of all 16,000 employees. He has already given raises to some women and expects to give “a lot more,” he tells the Post.

“When I’m done, there will be no gap,” Benioff says.

This undertaking is part of a larger program, Women’s Surge, that Benioff established in 2013 after noticing that he had too few female employees, the Post reports:

Benioff would look around at meetings that were made up of mostly men and think, “This isn’t right,” he said. Overall, women made up just 29 percent of employees at Salesforce as of June 2014, according to company data.

Salesforce offers cloud-based customer relationship management software.

Another tech company, Reddit, made headlines earlier this month for its effort to help bridge the gender pay gap by not negotiating salaries with prospective employees.

Ellen Pao, interim chief executive of Reddit, told the Wall Street Journal:

Men negotiate harder than women do and sometimes women get penalized when they do negotiate. So as part of our recruiting process we don’t negotiate with candidates. We come up with an offer that we think is fair. 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.

To learn more about the gender pay gap, check out “10 Jobs With The Biggest Pay Gap Between Men And Women” and “How The Gender Pay Gap Can Translate To Poverty In Retirement.”

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Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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