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How Salesforce Chief People Officer Paved the Way for Equal Pay

Cindy Robbins, Salesforce’s Chief People Officer, initiated the company’s project for equal pay that has been going on since 2016. The company has so far spent $8.7 million during its implementation. This project resulted to Salesforce adjusting the pay of 23.6% of their employees from 2016 to 2018.

How Cindy Robbins pushed for equal pay

Robbins had been working in Salesforce for 12 years to date. She became part of the board after she gained her promotion as Head of Human Resource. Prior to that, Cindy Robbins was already attending board meetings after Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff required at least 30% female attendance in meetings.

In 2014, an internal audit discovered that there is a pay gap between men and women in Salesforce. This was the case even though Benioff and his team worked hard to make the company a place for equal opportunity. Robbins states the cause for this in a 2017 interview, “When you acquire 14 companies, you acquire not just their technology and their people, but also their pay practices.”

This audit caused the project for equal pay to be realized. On 2016, they adjusted the pay of 6.6% of their employees that resulted to a spending of $3 million. The following year they adjusted 11% of their employees’ pay and incurred another $3 million. On 2018, they adjusted 6% of the employees’ pay and spent $2.7 million for it.

How this campaign affected Salesforce

According to Robbins, employee sentiment rose from 80% to 92% after implementing the adjustments. There was an increase in female employees and women in leadership positions.

She believes that an internal audit is required on an annual basis unless there are flawless systems in place to prevent pay gaps. Furthermore, she states that this initiative is a call to action for other companies, not only in the tech industry, to check for pay gaps among their employees.

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