I was so pleased to present my friend Marc Benioff — the founder, CEO and chairman of Salesforce — with Variety’s 2017 Empowerment Award for your efforts on Equal Pay.

Everyone now talks about purpose and values, and seeing the role of a business leader as being about more than just profit, but Marc was there when he founded Salesforce in 1999.

He has also used his voice to drive change, taking action on LGBTQ rights, education, children’s healthcare, and two years ago he was one of the first CEOs to speak out about equal pay.

Even more important, when Marc found out that there was a gender wage gap at Salesforce, he didn’t just issue a statement. He didn’t just appoint a committee to investigate and propose measures to remedy the situation. He actually committed the financial resources to begin to close the wage gap.

Watch the video below. 


  • Arianna Huffington

    Founder & CEO of Thrive Global

    Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, the founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of 15 books, including Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a leading behavior change tech company with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.

    She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.

    She serves on numerous boards, including Onex, The B Team, JUST Capital, and Gloat.

    Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, both became instant international bestsellers. Most recently, she wrote the foreword to Thrive Global's first book Your Time to Thrive: End Burnout, Increase Well-being, and Unlock Your Full Potential with the New Science of Microsteps.