At that rate, simply raising awareness about the issue isn’t enough. We need action and we need it now.
When companies take action, it really is possible to achieve pay parity. Just ask Salesforce. The software giant was one of the first companies to take a public stance on pay parity, and has spent more than $10.3 million addressing equal pay.
“Promoting a culture of equality is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Research shows diverse companies are more innovative, and they’re in a better position to succeed. We started conducting equality assessments three years ago and we’ve spent $10.3 million addressing the differences in pay between men and women,” explains Edweena Stratton, VP of Employee Success at Salesforce Australia.
For Salesforce, pay equity isn’t a single transaction; it’s an ongoing process. As well as focusing on equal opportunity with their hiring practices and having a dedicated Chief Equality Officer, the company conducts an annual pay audit to ensure there is inclusion at all levels of the organisation.
“At Salesforce, we look at every aspect of the employee journey, be it recruitment, promotions, or bonuses. Since 2016, Salesforce has conducted an annual global equal pay assessment to identify and address any unexplained differences in pay between our male and female employees, and we will continue to review and adjust compensation to ensure that everyone is fairly recognised for their work,” says Stratton.
This year’s assessment found that 5 per cent of their 35,000 employees required adjustments. So what did they do? They spent $1.6 million to make said adjustments.
In addition to ponying up the necessary cash, Salesforce are fighting for equality across the board – and even have a dedicated Women’s Network dedicated to female empowerment. “We don’t just focus on empowering the women in our team, but also on building [male] allies and working with every member in our community, to make sure everyone is heard,” says Irina Feldman, president of the ANZ Women’s Network.
Stratton has some sage advice for other businesses wanting to fix the gender pay gap: “You need to address the pay gap with transparency – internally and externally. Where pay gaps exist, organisations have an obligation to look at it, be open about it and address it. It won’t be fixed overnight, but what’s key is having a course of action.”
HOW TO FIX THE GENDER PAY GAP IN THREE SIMPLE STEPS
According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, these actions will help employers address the gender pay gap…
- Foster a workplace culture that supports gender equality from the top-down – leadership buy-in is a must
- Build an effective gender equality strategy for your organisation
- Stay accountable to the journey ahead. This means setting targets, measuring impact and reporting results upward for any gender equality goal your organisation is aiming for
And, like, pay women the same as men. It’s pretty simple you guys.