Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff has announced that the company will reveal its first chief equality officer next week.
Drawing on his commitment of “improving the world" while speaking at Techcrunch’s Disrupt in San Francisco, Benioff drove home his perspective that the new role was a part of corporate responsibility to fight inequality.
According to Benioff, the chief equality officer will be “reporting directly to me, to own these issues, so that on a day-to-day basis this is in my mind and I know I haven’t just delegated it down.”
In 2015, Salesforce worked to equalize salaries for men and women in the company by spending $3m in 2015 to close the technology gender pay gap within the company’s own walls. According to Salesforce’s EVP of global employee success, Cindy Robbins, 1,000 — six percent — of employees received a salary adjustment.
Additionally, Salesforce has committed millions of dollars to public schools — donating $8.5m to the San Francisco and Oakland public school districts this year — and has opposed and worked to overturn anti-L.G.B.T. laws in states like Indiana, Georgia and North Carolina. Thanks to the company’s “1-1-1” program —where it contributes one percent of its equity, one percent of its profit and one percent of its employees’ time to a non-profit foundation — Salesforce has provided almost 2 million hours of volunteer work and has given out $130m in grants (its target is $140m for 2017).
“Silicon Valley doesn’t have to be stingy, like it traditionally has been,” he said. “Entrepreneurs have traditionally hoarded their wealth. Companies have not given back. That has to change. You have to do one thing. Personal action is the most important thing. . . . I strongly believe the business of business is to improve the state of the world,” Benioff said.