Salesforce Scales Pay Equity Using Syndio
Salesforce has long been at the forefront of fair pay. CEO Marc Benioff was an early, outspoken advocate for pay equity analyses. He also led the company to unprecedented levels of openness around pay equity, building employee trust and sending a powerful message to stakeholders: Salesforce is committed to creating a more equitable workplace.
Since Benioff first took a public stand on pay equity in 2015, the company has responded to the call, continually pushing to exemplify the highest standards of workplace equity. Stan Dunlap, EVP of Global Rewards at Salesforce, is at the center of that effort.
"Pay fairness has become a part of our DNA," says Dunlap. "In practicing my craft of compensation and benefits, I feel strongly that a big part of my role and — where I can make a difference — is making sure that all our employees receive the same attention as our executives. And pay fairness is a way to do that."
We chose to partner with Syndio because their core purpose is pay equity, and their team is going to be farther ahead in their thinking, so they could push us and we could learn from them."
EVP of Global Rewards
Technology & software
56K+ in 28 countries
- First-time analysis
- Global pay equity
Scaling pay equity analysis as Salesforce grew and expanded globally
- Syndio's Pay Equity Platform PayEQ
- Syndio's Elite Consulting
- Improves long-term pay equity
- Lowers per-employee remediation costs
- Boosts employer brand
- Helps attract and retain top talent
Salesforce initially handled pay equity in-house, using a model built by their data science team. But as the company grew and the team advanced their thinking on pay equity, it became clear that maintaining the model internally had run its course.
"The bigger we got and the more global we got, the more challenging it became to do this in-house," explains Dunlap. Salesforce decided to partner with a proven expert in pay equity to ensure agility and effectiveness as they scaled.
Salesforce sought a partner with a best-in-class software platform whose sole focus was workplace equity. But it wasn't just about technology. They wanted to work with an expert team who was highly skilled in pay equity and always a step ahead of the latest trends and approaches. Syndio met all of their requirements.
As Dunlap put it, "We chose to partner with Syndio because their core purpose is pay equity, and their team is going to be farther ahead in their thinking, so they could push us and we could learn from them."
With employees in 28 countries (and growing), Dunlap and his team need to consider varying data constraints, regional laws, and reporting requirements for pay equity. Syndio helps Salesforce manage the complexity of global analysis — both through the guidance of Syndio's experts, and the agility of its Pay Equity Platform, PayEQ™.
Having a third-party partner like Syndio has allowed us to comfortably focus not on the technology and stats behind the tool itself, but on our strategy and how we approach this for employees. We rely on Syndio to help drive the machinery behind it."
EVP of Global Rewards
Pay equity analysis — and the associated expense of resolving pay disparities — is often viewed as a fixed exercise of little value beyond mitigating legal risk. But Salesforce recognizes pay equity as both a long-term investment that improves over time, and an employer brand strategy that sets the company apart and helps drive its talent goals.
Lower Remediation Per Employee
Today, Salesforce resolves pay disparities annually. And while total remediation hovers around $3 million a year, they have roughly tripled their employee base since their first analysis. This means the average cost per employee has decreased year over year. Dunlap attributes this to the fact that when they correct compensation for an individual, it stays corrected.
Numerous Employer Awards
As Marc Benioff, Salesforce's CEO, wrote in his book Trailblazer, Salesforce's commitment to pay equity has already paid off in "incalculable ways" and "will continue to accrue for years." He acknowledged that "Equalizing pay wasn't an easy process, or a cheap one… [but] it has contributed to our ability to attract the very best and brightest talent in the country."
It's also contributed to numerous employer accolades, including:
- Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For 2021 (#2)
- Fortune's 100 World's Most Admired Companies 2021
- Fortune's 100 Best Workplaces in Technology 2021
- Ethisphere Institute World's Most Ethical Companies (12th time)
As Salesforce continues to grow, Dunlap will further expand the scope of pay equity. He plans to use the Syndio platform to analyze other forms of compensation (such as stock/equity), ensure fair pay during M&A, merit, and promotion processes, and assign equitable starting salaries for every new hire.