Achieving equality for all is one of the greatest challenges that we will face in our lifetime. This is a battle that cannot be won by one company, one leader or any one community. It’s a challenge that every CEO and every business leader must address.
And that’s just what we are doing at Salesforce. We have made equality a core value for the company, and we are working to increase equality by focusing our efforts on equal pay, equal advancement, and equal opportunity.
Let’s talk about equal pay. Last year we announced our commitment to doing a comprehensive analysis of the salaries of the more than 17,000 global employees we had as of August 1 to determine if men and women were paid equally for comparable work. We’ve completed the assessment, and we’d like to share how we did it and what we learned.
We put employees in comparable roles into groups and analyzed salaries of those groups to determine whether there were statistically significant wage differences between women and men. We based our analysis on objective factors that determine pay, such as job function, level and location. If there were unexplained differences, salary adjustments were made for both men and women as needed.
Our assessment showed that we needed to adjust some salaries—for both men and women. Approximately six percent of employees required a salary adjustment, and roughly the same number of women and men were impacted. Salesforce has spent nearly $3 million dollars to eliminate statistically significant differences in pay.
To build a more diverse workforce, we’ve doubled down on our community outreach efforts to nonprofits and educational groups focused on diversity in tech, added more diverse schools to our recruiting efforts, and increased our support for STEM education initiatives that touch diverse populations.
We’ve also increased access to advancement opportunities through the High-Potential Leadership Program, which is designed to provide leadership skills to advance women in the workplace. The program has led to a 33 percent increase in the number of women who were promoted last year.
In the last year, Salesforce has increased parental leave to 12 weeks off at 80% of total pay, including base and bonuses. The company also introduced a new gradual return program which offers new parents the flexibility to work reduced hours for the first four consecutive weeks of returning to work, at full pay.
We are at the beginning of a long journey. We will continue to focus on equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels and in all employment processes. Moving forward, Salesforce plans to monitor and review salaries on an ongoing basis—making equal pay a part of our company’s DNA. In addition to analyzing salaries regularly, Salesforce will continue to focus on equal opportunity and equal advancement by increasing access to growth opportunities for all and building and recruiting a more diverse pipeline. A diverse workforce gives us the unique perspectives that we need to build the most innovative products, engage with our diverse community of customers and partners, and attract and retain top talent.
Cindy Robbins is EVP, Global Employee Success, at Salesforce.