“When women are at the table, the discussion is richer, the decision-making process is better, management is more innovative and collaborative, and the organization is stronger.”1
—Joseph Keefe, President and CEO of Pax World Investments, LLC
Companies enjoy the publicity from announcing pay equity reviews and new parental benefits. These are steps in the right direction, but the real and hard effort to create fully inclusive workplaces—where women are present everywhere and men and women are working more productively together—requires a lot more from leaders than policies, programs, and good press.
Saleforce.com decided to do a corporate pay equity analysis of its 17,000-person workforce in 2014. When Cindy Robbins, Salesforce's head of human resources, and Senior Vice President Leyla Seka first proposed the assessment to CEO Marc Benioff, they weren't sure there was a problem. It turns out there was. In November 2015, the company announced it would spend $3 million to eliminate pay inequities that applied to female and male employees.
Benioff later admitted he was initially skeptical about the value of doing it, and told SiliconBeat, “I think I got called out this year, and it was a difficult moment for me as a leader, for sure.”2 But he also changed his mindset when he realized the concept of “equal pay” was a powerful aspirational goal for the company. Indeed, Cindy Robbins reported on her blog in March 2016 that the pay equity study ...