As a young women working in technology I have always found myself in the gender minority not only in the workplace but also during my time at university. When I meet new people and they ask what I do I am often faced with bizarre comments such as “why do you work with computers – you’re a girl?!” Unfortunately and quite surprisingly stats say that percentage of computing jobs help by women has actually fallen over the past 23 years according to a new study. On top of that women earn just 77% of what a man does in the same role!
Marc Benioff Salesforce CEO has been in the news recently as he is fighting for equal pay for women. Starting with his own business, (where he employees over 16,000 employees worldwide) he is reviewing all salary data to make sure that women are being paid equally and is urging other companies to follow suit.
He’s already given out some raises and “I expect to be giving a lot more,” he said during an interview with The Huffington Post, “when I’m done there will be no [pay] gap.” Although he did admit the process of ensuring 100% equal pay for women could take a couple of years.
According to a USA census, there’s a stubborn gulf between what men and women earn. In 2013, a woman working full time earned about 77 percent of what a man earned.
But women can’t do this alone, said Benioff. There are also things a company can do.
Salesforce’s pay initiative is part of a wider company program called Women’s Surge, which Benioff put in place in 2013 after he began to realise there weren’t enough women at his 16-year-old company. Overall, women made up just 29 percent of employees at Salesforce as of June 2014, according to the diversity report. It also shows that women only account for 15% of leadership roles and 20% in tech roles.
As part of the Women’s Surge initiative, Benioff is trying to make sure that women make up at least 30 percent of the attendees at any meeting, from large-scale management meetings with 500 to 1,000 attendees to product reviews with just 10 to 20 executives.
With Marc leading the way hopefully other companies will start to follow suit and we can start to bridge not only the pay gap but also the gender gap!