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Today, Fortune and Great Place to Work named Salesforce a Best Workplace for Women for the second year in a row. And while we are incredibly proud of this honor and of all our efforts to-date to earn this important distinction, there is still much work to be done to create an equal workplace for all.

Making workplace equality a priority is a critical first step in achieving this goal. In fact, only a few years ago we did just that when we elevated Equality as an official Salesforce core value. This reflects our deep commitment to both creating a diverse workplace that represents the communities we serve and building an inclusive culture where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued — one that fights for the equality of every human being.

Let's take a quick look at how courageous conversations and bold actions at Salesforce around equality have helped us earn this incredible honor.

 

Equal pay

One way every company can achieve a more equal workplace is by taking steps to address the pay gap. Equal pay for equal work isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s just good business sense. Our employees trust us with their careers. They expect us to provide a safe and great place to work just as much as they expect us to pay people fairly. When we deliver on these expectations, it becomes easier for us to attract and retain the very best talent in the industry. This is at the very heart of how we plan to achieve our business goals. 

Our journey to equal pay actually started with a courageous conversation. The wage gap is something that I had discussed with my colleague and longtime friend, Leyla Seka, for months before ever raising the issue to senior leadership. We had both benefitted from Salesforce's initiatives to advance high-potential women into leadership, so we thought we'd put our heads together to figure a way to help other women at Salesforce succeed.

In 2015, we raised the issue of equal pay to Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff — not as the head of HR and a product leader, but as two women who wanted to provide an equal opportunity for all. As a result of this conversation, Salesforce decided to make equal pay part of its DNA and committed to reviewing compensation on an ongoing basis. This included closing any gaps that existed. To date, Salesforce has invested around $8.7 million to address statistically significant differences in pay. But this is not something we want to own ourselves; industry-wide action on this issue is crucial. After all, every company today has HR data to fix these gaps. Your business just needs to be willing to address and take action on it.

 

Diverse meetings

A few years before addressing equal pay, Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff ignited a courageous conversation. When looking around the room at an executive management meeting, he asked, “Where are all of the women?” From that point forward, he didn't ever want to see a lack of diversity at management meetings. Since that time, we've taken steps to ensure that the makeup of our management meeting attendees more closely resembles the makeup of our employee population. 

 

Parental leave

Supporting the needs of working parents is also a top priority for us. That's why we decided to revise our policies a few years ago to make it easier for our employees to be even more successful, whether at work or at home. Today, all employees get 26 weeks of parental leave — regardless of gender — to spend time bonding with their new children and get the hang of life as a parent. For us, an important distinction was the word “parental.” We're not just talking about moms anymore; we believe that men should be empowered to spend time with their new families, too. No one, regardless of gender, should ever be penalized or stigmatized for taking time off to do one of the most important jobs: being a parent.


We're proud of the progress we've made thus far and excited about the amazing work we'll continue to do well into the future. Find out more about how we're continuing to build a great workplace for all by visiting http://salesforce.com/equality.