The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Woot, Hooyay, Hail! HR Shines on 60 Minutes (04-19-18 draft)

April 19th, 2018

What’s hot?

A Human Resources leader made 60 Minutes!

Cindy Robbins, Personnel Chief for Salesforce, was featured on the March 15th broadcast of 60 Minutes.  Robbins had done something that awe-inspiring leaders do – she spoke truth to power – by informing Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff that men and women were being paid unequally. Benioff did not believe it! He had been committed to hiring and promoting women; unequal pay was something that Benioff did not believe existed.  In fact Salesforce had been ranked by Fortune as the number one best place to work among big companies.  But, Robbins had done her homework and a subsequent audit validated her claim.  So far, it has cost Salesforce $6 million to address the problem. Nevertheless, Benioff stated during the broadcast that he was committed to achieving parity. “We’re gonna pay men and women equally at Salesforce,” he said, “and we’re gonna go through and we’re gonna level set every job and every division, every department. And we’re gonna make sure that we have gender equality.”







So what?

The best leaders – no matter where they are positioned in the organizational hierarchy – take action when they discover that something needs to be changed.  They act out of integrity armed with facts.

What to do?

Follow Robbins’ example:

  1. Know your business. Know what keeps your CEO awake at night.
  1. Do your research. Identify what’s happening (or not happening), the cost of not fixing the problem (lost opportunities, profits, reputation, morale, ), what it would take to fix it (time/resources/dollars, etc.), what role you are willing to play to fix it, and the pay-off.
  1. Speak to the person who can implement the needed change(s).
  1. Hold your ground. Cindy Robbins did.  When Benioff proposed an audit (because he was confident that there was no disparity in pay practices), Robbins replied, “The one thing we can’t do is do the assessment, look under the hood, see a big dollar sign, and shut the hood.”

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