Marc Benioff adds $3 million to Salesforce female workers’ pay

The news this week that Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, gave $3 million more in salary to female employees after analyzing the company’s pay by gender may be a challenge to other tech firms to do the same.

Earlier this year, Benioff said the San Francisco cloud-computing company was conducting a review of salaries by gender to figure out if there was pay parity, as I wrote about then.

Leyla Seka, a executive who was spearheading the firm’s look at pay equity with another colleague, told me, “I don’t know if we have a problem. But I decided, let’s hold ourselves to task and take a look.”

Turns out, Salesforce had a problem.

The company declined to offer more information except to point to the Fortune interview of Benioff this week. About 4,000 women or 23 percent of Salesforce’s 17,000 workforce are women, and the money would be an extra $750 per female employee.

Benioff, speaking at Fortune’s Global Forum this week, talked about the company’s values:

I think I got called out this year, and it was a difficult moment for me as a leader, for sure. We also believe very strongly in equality. We believe in equal rights for our employees, for them to have those rights, that is. Equal pay for women is critical. We’ve looked at every single one of our female employees’ salaries and we have adjusted it against all of our male employees’ salaries. We actually did $3 million in employee salary adjustments, so we can say we pay women the same as we pay men.

He went on to add that core values for Salesforce are “equal opportunity, equal access for women.”

“Equality is our core value,” he said. “We fight for that.”

Above: Marc Benioff, CEO of (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


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  • Makikiguy

    $750 a month??? $750 a year??

  • keller23

    Alternate Headline: Male employees of To Take $3M Pay Cut Next Year

    • dms1813

      First of all, that’s of course not necessarily true. Could just be that they’re paying $3M more in salary, period. Meaning either they’re finding savings in other operational costs, or they’re increasing prices (which would be a very slight increase given Salesforce’s scale), or they’re going to take a relatively minor hit to the bottom line.

      Second, even if it were true, I assume you intend that headline to be a negative thing. But is it really? If that is true, I might look at it as more of an adjustment to bring male employees’ pay in line with the market – correcting for the fact that men have historically been overpaid due to sexism.