Another Approach to Promoting Pay Equity in Business

Another Approach to Promoting Pay Equity in Business

Bonnie St. John, Chrysalis Inspired 2017 keynote speaker recently penned an editorial printed by The Huffington Post: We Already Know How to Close the Gender Pay Gap, earlier this month.

Quoting St. John:

“Instead of exhorting leaders to work toward equity, their [Salesforce’s] CEO, Marc Benioff, simply mandated that his company would eliminate unequal pay…(he) raised salaries of women and some men to correct any pre-existing pay disparities across their entire 17,000-person workforce.  That’s it—he solved the pay gap problem in one fell swoop.  It was so simple, yet it surprised someone like me who has worked with women business leaders for decades…I realized in that moment: to get the results you want, you must change policy; not just change people’s minds.”

In her book, What Works: Gender Equality By Design (2016), by Iris Bohnet, notes:  “Gender equality is a moral and a business imperative.  But unconscious bias holds us back, and de-biasing people’s minds has proven to be difficult and expensive.  Diversity training programs have had limited success, and individual effort alone often invites backlash.  Behavioral design offers a new solution.”

In short, Bohnet recommends “de-biasing organizations, rather than individuals.”  Since it’s proven that gender bias can be involuntary –  for both women and men – the author believes that waiting for individual attitudes to change is just not a good business strategy.  Instead, the immediate results of the corporate mandate, such as was done by Salesforce, makes the company immediately more profitable – and the research proves so.

St. John’s message?  Why would we “ignore clear and incontrovertible research on actions that make our businesses more profitable and wait until employees “feel like” following policies to equalize gender leadership and pay.

This insightful and research-based approach by St. John will be part of her message on behalf of Chrysalis when she speaks at our 2017 INSPIRED Event.  As with other keynote speakers, Bonnie St. John provides the wisdom and experience of a strong leader, teacher, and role model.  Having lost her right leg at age 5, she worked to become an Olympic ski medalist, Rhodes Scholar, and White House economist.  She is also a highly-recognized author and motivational speaker – and is certain to deliver a powerful message to Chrysalis INSPIRED event guests.

Take a read of the editorial here:, and share this wisdom with friends and peers who may join us this fall for the 2017 Chrysalis INSPIRED Event.