WASHINGTON, April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the world's #1 CRM company and Intelligent Customer Success Platform, today announced the recipients of its first-ever Equality Awards—Academy Award winner and activist Patricia Arquette, multi-Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige, sports icon and humanitarian Billie Jean King and equal pay for equal work activist Lilly Ledbetter.
The Salesforce Equality Awards honor trailblazers who have dedicated their careers and lives to creating a more equitable world. In honor of Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned the previous year, Salesforce will celebrate four women at the forefront of the battle for equality at a gala tonight in Washington, D.C. Patricia Arquette, Billie Jean King and Lilly Ledbetter will also participate in a panel on equal pay moderated by Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff at Salesforce World Tour D.C. on April 4, 2017.
"I'm delighted to present the first Salesforce Equality Awards to four of my personal heroes: Patricia Arquette, Mary J. Blige, Billie Jean King and Lilly Ledbetter," said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce. "These incredible people have made the world a more equitable place through their tireless leadership."
The Salesforce Equality Award honorees include:
Patricia Arquette is an Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy Award-winning actress and global activist who used her 2015 Oscars acceptance speech to speak out about wage disparity and bring the issue to the forefront of public attention. Last year, she led the launch of the UN initiative on pay equality and women's economic empowerment, The Equal Pay Platform of Champions.
Mary J. Blige is an iconic nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and passionate philanthropist and is being honored for her work in women's rights, in support of LGBTQ rights and in honor of her upcoming album, "Strength of a Woman."
Billie Jean King is a sports icon and humanitarian who, upon winning the 1968 Wimbledon title, was awarded less than half of the prize money as the men's champion. King later successfully negotiated for equal prize money at the U.S. Open and continued the fight for equal pay for another 34 years, until the four major tennis tournaments paid men and women equally. King is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and named by Life Magazine as one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th Century.
Lilly Ledbetter is the namesake of the Ledbetter Fair Pair Restoration Act. After receiving an anonymous note saying that despite top performance reviews, she was significantly underpaid compared to her male counterparts, she was inspired to fight for equal pay. For ten years she fought to close the gap between women's and men's wages through legal battles that escalated all the way to the Supreme Court. Despite losing her legal battles, her efforts led to federal Equal Pay legislation and motivated a generation of change makers.
Equality is a Core Value at Salesforce
Salesforce believes a business can be a platform for social change and have an enormous impact on improving the state of the world. Inequality, in all its forms, is an issue that every company and every leader must address. The company is working – in partnership with its employees, customers, partners, community organizations and the tech industry – to build a path forward to equality for all. It is taking action across four key areas: equal pay, equal opportunity, equal education and equal rights.
- Read more about Salesforce's commitment to equality here: https://www.salesforce.com/equality/
- Learn how to cultivate equality at work on Trailhead here: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/trails/champion_workplace_equality
Salesforce, the world's #1 CRM company and Intelligent Customer Success Platform, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.
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