Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff Puts His Company’s Money Where His Mouth Is

Speaking at the Fortune Global Forum earlier this week, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff revealed that he spent about $3 million this year to bring the salaries of female employees up to the level of their male counterparts. “We can say we pay women the same that we pay men—we looked at every single salary,” said Benioff. While $3 million may seem like chump change for a company that’s currently worth nearly $52 billion, Benioff’s willingness to put his—or rather, Salesforce’s—money where his mouth is champions the fight for pay equity. Indeed, even as companies have become more open about their diversity gaps—with many now releasing annual data about how many women and minorities they employ—their gender pay gaps, for the most part, remain shrouded in mystery. (Fortune)

This is not a surprising tack for Benioff, who is a huge advocate for social justice. Benioff is known for inventing the 1:1:1 corporate charity model, where companies give away 1% of their equity, 1% of their employees’ time, and 1% of their product to charity. He’s also donating $200 million of his own money to build a children’s hospital in San Francisco. And he’s badgering other Valley companies to give more to their communities, particularly those in his home town of San Francisco. Lately, though, he’s moved beyond philanthropy into social justice. Earlier this year, he helped bring down some state laws that could have encouraged discrimination against gay people by publicly calling them out as bad for business. (Business Insider)

“I’m not a millennial, but it’s a millennial view of the world,” Benioff told The New York Times, about his social focus. “Millennials want meaning in work. They want to feel like they improve the state of the world. The only way you get trust is through transparency. I won’t use your product if I don’t trust you. It’s true inside a company, too.”

While Salesforce has yet to reveal its wage gap, the fact that Benioff says the company has actually started putting more money into the pockets of underpaid women makes it unique, Fortune said. Looking at biases that play into hiring and promotions and putting more women into senior roles, are vital steps toward resolving the problem in the long term.



  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.