The pandemic accelerated a few trends that changed the way we work. Most notably, companies prioritized digital transformation en masse, and workers across every industry started the pursuit of real work/life balance. At the same time, the pandemic also highlighted growing disparities across genders and race, amplifying an important global conversation — how can the Googles, Facebooks, Microsofts, and Salesforces of the world do more to promote diversity and inclusion? The world has had plenty of time to reflect and the push for equality is here to stay.
In their Quarterly Equality Update in August, Salesforce asks an important question, “As representation increases and we become more dispersed, we ask ourselves: how can we ensure that everyone is supported and thriving, especially our most marginalized communities?”
This was one of the sources of inspiration for our first annual Salesforce Talent Diversity Report set to be released early next year. In partnership with Salesforce, we will present where the talent ecosystem stands across multiple data points including gender, ethnicity, sexual identification, and more. To create D&I initiatives that will make a meaningful impact for the people who need it most, we have to first understand where and who our Salesforce experts are.
As a Salesforce partner that represents 500+ independent experts across the world, we’re fervent advocates for our community and their development. We have been watching the progress of gender diversity since 2018 with our annual Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report and support nonprofits and other efforts dedicated to creating upward mobility for incoming talent. Here are a few of the organizations, groups, and initiatives our team considers essential to promoting equality in our ecosystem:
Nick Hamm, 10K Chief Executive Officer
PepUp Tech’s mission is to give motivated, underserved students the access, skills, mentors, and confidence needed to begin careers in tech and help diversify the industry.
I’ve been a proud board member of PepUp Tech since 2019, and the proof of this organization’s impact is in the numbers. An astounding 94% of PepUp Tech graduates are placed in high-paying jobs and, on average, make six times more than they made before entering the Salesforce ecosystem. And the best part? The program comes at a cost of zero dollars for participants.
PepUp Tech is more than just a Salesforce training program. You’d be hard-pressed to find another job training program that has these types of outcomes while asking nothing in return from participants other than their time and dedication. Their program is made possible by workforce investment grants and generous donors who believe that the opportunities the Salesforce ecosystem holds should be available to everyone.
Jared Miller, 10K Chief Operating Officer
Black-Owned Business Salesforce Mentorship Program
In 2020, Salesforce established the Racial Equality and Justice Task Force to accelerate its efforts to create systemic change and focus more deeply on areas it felt could have a real impact. One of those areas was investing in Black-owned businesses.
In November of this year, Salesforce kicked off a year-long mentorship program that provides 25 Black-owned business founders with sponsorship, education, and networking opportunities to help grow and develop their businesses. The program will pair each mentee with a Salesforce mentor and VP-level sponsor/advocate who aligns with their development goals.
Over the next year, mentees will attend quarterly sessions taught by university professors on topics like business strategy pivots, marketing in turbulent times, and talent optimization. Mentees will also have an opportunity to learn from some of Salesforce’s largest customers, partners, and suppliers during monthly meet-and-greet sessions. The impact of this brand new initiative is still TBD, but our team is looking forward to seeing its growth and influence on the talent ecosystem. Helping people with their entrepreneurial goals will only benefit the Salesforce community as a whole.
It’s no secret there is an enduring gender disparity in tech. According to Mason Frank, women, on a global scale, make up less than 20% of the tech industry.
Since 2015, Salesforce has taken steps to actively address the gender pay gap and other inequalities. The Salesforce Women’s Network, an official Salesforce Equality group, focuses on women’s “professional and personal development, allyship, supportive connections, and taking action on gender equality. We are the largest Equality group and our programs include content and activities to support our values of empathy, trust, well-being, and advancement of women.”
Empowering the community to raise awareness and eliminate prejudice with the right tools is another important part of the equation. Trailblazer community groups serve as a useful platform to influence and advocate for change.
The Salesforce Women in Tech Diversity Group offers a forum for conversations surrounding mental health awareness to exploring the intersection of feminism and using privilege for good. They recognize “…women we share common challenges, but as minority women we also face unique challenges and stigmas. This group [provides] support, encouragement, mentoring, and opportunities to collaborate and network.”
Giving Tuesday may have passed, but there’s no better time than this holiday season to get involved and help make a brighter 2022. Whether it’s a monetary donation, your time, or raising awareness within your network and community, every effort to promote diversity and inclusion will help make the Salesforce ecosystem a better place to work for everyone.