Startup CEO salary gap: Male vs. female founder

At ServiceNow’s annual conference last week, Chief People Officer Jacqui Canney spoke at Protocol about why talent is key to the company’s growth ambitions, what the role of retention compensation is and whether how ServiceNow will maintain its culture while doubling its number from 18,000 to 35,000 employees.

This lecture has been edited and abbreviated for clarity.

How does your part of the organization fit in with where the overall strategy of the company is going and what can we expect from there?

I had a chance to meet Bill [McDermott, ServiceNow CEO and former SAP CEO] –– I can’t remember what year it was, 2016 or something like that, when I was at Walmart. And we were in between choosing SuccessFactors and Workday, and we chose Workday. And Bill and Jen Morgan came down, because we’re still a big SAP store, and I remember I met him and admired him and thought about the products they were selling. This is not the only time for us to buy what they sell.

So then, when the opportunity came to open this job, Bill was the new CEO, relatively new, 2019 I guess is when he started, he called me to interview for the job. He doesn’t have someone he thinks can help culturally, in scaling an HR organization, in DE&I and then in the development of our people. That was the kind of initial conversation, and I’m excited to work for him because I’ve admired him ever since, but as well as the human capital challenge at my point in the career it seems like, a very good opportunity.

How do you think about injecting enough stability where employees don’t feel like everything is changing every second, while trying to increase these numbers?

In my experience, you need to have a purpose and values ​​and those have to be real, not just words on a wall or on a piece of paper, that people can anchor to. And you have to live those things in a satisfying way; you don’t just speak, you feel and you see. I think, another thing that’s important to be successful when you have that much change is that you have a CEO whose goal is consistent with the company’s goal, because the lack of that connection is reflected in the job because the CEO is driving quite how that change is absorbed.

And specifically this year, to make that easier, we created a so -called “People Pact,” which is our employee value proposition. So if you go to ServiceNow, you can live your best life, do your best job and fulfill our goal together. And we talk about it in every town hall, we talk about it in every one of my meetings, we’ve talked enough about it, and hopefully it’s simple enough that it seems to get and it should stand. in the test of time. It’s not like we have to repeat that every time to keep changing where we’re going. And I think, that creates stability and we give it life.

Why is it important to double the number? Obviously, you’re trying to push more revenue, but why is the number important in reaching some of those metrics?

If you look at our footprint today and where we want to grow, it’s not just in the United States. We have a strong headcount presence here in the United States, [but] our opportunity is somewhat global, much more so than today. So if you want to take over the whole world, as well as build out revenue numbers, that’s our interpretation to get to the double. Will it be exact? I don’t know, but we’re pretty much down the road, and math seems to work.

Did you find hiring around the world a challenge?

Yes for sure. ServiceNow is a net importer of talent, which is really a great position to reach; our brand, as it grows, has a good brand that will work with it. Our products are highly appreciated if you have already experienced the products and many of our people we recruit, and we provide great early and career experience for those who are just starting out, so the momentum in the acquisition is real and there.

What I can say is hard is that we have to keep everything we have here, and recruit like that. So you can’t get rid of what you think, what is a retention opportunity and what is a hiring opportunity.

When you say keep, did you see attrition numbers rise last year?

We pretty much did. Not as material as the others, but they certainly climbed.

When do you expect those to stabilize and return to normal levels?

They have started to level off now and I think the market may be bringing some of that as long as we proactively try to mitigate it. We’re also going through a cycle time around bonuses and that was just in the last quarter. So I think that also contributed to the tick up but now the tick down.

You hire at times when the price of your stock is very high [and now] it fell. Have you made any changes to level the playing field between those who join when the stock price is lower and those who join when it is higher?

We have not made any changes to anyone at any level. I know that’s something other companies are starting to talk about.

The CFO and I just really [talked about] this: Is there something here that we need to do? Are you focused on high potential? Are you focused on hotspots? You have to make choices because there are many implications to doing something like this. I also believe that our company is very strong, and it is a cycle: It will return in the other direction as fast as it goes in the other direction. And I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think we don’t want to overrotate either.

You see in other companies, Google and Amazon, there is a lot of employee -led activism in terms of salary increases and discussions about base pay increases and things like that. I wonder if you see that within your own workforce [at] Service Now?

We are moving up to our bases pretty systematically. We didn’t make a big announcement about that, because it wasn’t the headline we were trying to get to, but who we were. We’re constantly reviewing the market, constantly re -evaluating pay bands and things like that, and we seem to be monitoring it closely.

This cycle is really one that is in war, in inflation, in everything, it’s a time I haven’t seen that I don’t think about in my career.

This cycle is really one that is in war, in inflation, in everything, it’s a time I haven’t seen that I don’t think about in my career. But I think our skills keep us in line and speed, so I’m not having the same situation as some of the other companies.

And what happens in this situation, because there are so many corresponding factors-you mentioned inflation and what’s going on in the market-what happens if those start to level out? Is there a need for a reorganization? Are you raising wages now to match higher inflation? And then do they need to be re -evaluated if inflation goes down?

I mentioned that we have mentors, which I’m pretty hopeful of, from the outside [companies], not just within the company. We also have a great philosophy of how we transfer salary, including what’s performance, what’s the basis, what’s the bonus. I think you have to be careful how you use your philosophy to comp and [wavering] too much from here. You have to walk a very good line.

You don’t want to miss something because you got caught, but it’s also people’s salary and reward and they rely on things that are present in a particular area. So you have to be careful not to go one on the right, one on the left, and then confuse people about what their reward package is worth. So we try to keep a level head, be knowledgeable, constantly examine the market and take the steps we need to take when we need to take them.

In terms of salary when you switch to flexible work, do you adjust salary based on region?

We didn’t do that.

And do you expect to maintain that policy?

I think, there are times we can slow the increase, like if someone moves to a lower band or lower salary zone, I see that. But we haven’t officially put in any kind of like, take a pay cut.


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