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Deeds trump talk in compliance culture

Joe Mont | April 18, 2018

There can be a downside to all the talk about certain companies having a culture of compliance and transparency. They may have a reputation for “doing the right thing,” but word and deed don’t always piece together as neatly as rhetoric might suggest.

Our subject du jour is Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, a leading provider of cloud services and CRM software. His company has a stellar reputation as a great place to work. So, it was quite a surprise to see him before the cameras of 60 Minutes, addressing evidence of a gender pay gap at his company.

His response, when that wage discrepancy was first suspected: “It’s impossible because we have a great culture here. We’re a ‘best place to work.’ We don’t do that kind of thing. We don’t play shenanigans paying people.”

Alas, at the urging of Cindy Robbins, Salesforce’s chief of personnel, the suspected pay gap was confirmed by a company-wide audit. Gender-based pay disparities were found...

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