WEF discusses gender equality


dw.com - The room is small; it won't hold more than 100 chairs. Two cameras are set up, there is a small coffee bar in one of the corners. The walls gleam in friendly cream colors. The women are almost amongst themselves, men are few and far between. "The female quotient @ Davos" is the name of the lounge, which is located on Davos' promenade, the street that almost every participant in the World Economic Forum has to pass through. Many hurry through the snow to their next appointment, others stop and see what the women are actually doing there.

The topics are quite enthralling. "Why diversity is a business imperative" or "The choice we face to reboot our future." Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg was already here, as were Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and Paul Polman, head of Unilever.

"Gender equality is a leadership issue," emphasizes Amy Weaver, Executive Vice President of Salesforce, a California-based software company with more than 25,000 employees.

When Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff got complaints from employees, he initiated a relentless payroll analysis, only to find out that in some positions in his company, women were being paid less than men. Salesforce made the issue public, restructured and is considered an example of equal pay today. In part due to the boss' personal commitment.