Today, I’m very excited to announce Salesforce has formed a unique partnership with the United Nations Women’s National Committee (NC) for Australia and will join its global HeforShe program as its first Australian corporate partner.

Australia’s workplace gender inequality statistics illustrate the challenge ahead; the pay gap between male and female is at its widest at 24 per cent. There’s also a dearth of representation at a senior level, with only 21.9 per cent of directors in the ASX 200 women. Yet a recent McKinsey Global Institute report found that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 just by advancing women’s equality. If we’re serious about achieving workplace equality - companies, business leaders and employees need a clear strategy.

To accelerate gender equality in Australian workplaces and to make gender equality a more inclusive conversation, UN Women NC Australia and Salesforce will develop a guiding set of HeforShe corporate principles to help companies develop a gender equality strategy and take affirmative action to drive change.

Over the coming months Salesforce and UN Women NC Australia will run several workshops with staff from both our organisations to leverage the best practice from the HeForShe campaign and to build on the work Salesforce has already started to advance gender equality.

The insight and inspiration from our partnership workshops will form the basis of the corporate principles, which we will release later this year. I hope they will give businesses a solid framework to develop their own gender equality strategy and to start the process of change in their organisation.

We will also work with UN Women NC Australia to explore how our technology can help it drive the proliferation of its message through our Ignite program. These sessions will uncover opportunities to use technology to get closer to their community and donors.

During my time at Salesforce I’ve had the honour of being the co-executive sponsor on our gender diversity program in Australia, and as a company we have made big strides in driving real change. As we continue on our journey towards gender equality, our focus is on three key areas: equal pay, equal advancement and equal opportunity.

I’m extremely proud to be a part of this unique partnership between Salesforce and the UN Women National Committee Australia, which will provide a blueprint for every Australian company to embrace gender equality and drive societal change for the good of our people, our customers and our communities.