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Customer Centricity

Why we all profit from diversity, equality and inclusion

Equality and inclusion are important components of our company culture. Our founder, Marc Benioff, is personally committed to the equal treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as is Tony Prophet, our Chief Equality Officer.

13 Mar. 2017

In addition, there are dedicated networks within Salesforce – the Ohana groups – that give life to our claim to equality & inclusion. Groups like Outforce, for instance, are committed to LGBT issues, or the Salesforce Women’s Network, which aims for a greater focus on women.

As part of the Salesforce World Tour @ CeBIT, we will give these groups a framework and present their activities. We spoke with Nina Keim and Gareth Kelly, our Salesforce Germany Equality Trailblazers, about equality, equal opportunities and inclusion.

Why are inclusion & equality so important?

Gareth: The reasons are obvious: diversity, equality, equal opportunities and inclusion lead to more innovation, more equal opportunities, better access to talent and better business results. Companies around the world experience this every day.

The fundamental importance of inclusion and equality is to create equal opportunities for all and to truly appreciate the value of every human being. Companies that promote diversity gain a higher market share and a competitive advantage in access to new markets, with executives increasingly recognizing that there is a "diversity dividend" – on both a human and a business level.

What do equality & inclusion mean for you personally?

Nina: From a young age, I have learned to treat every human being with the same level of respect and to challenge whenever I saw injustice. But if we’re honest, that’s not enough. Only when we are willing to raise our voices and adapt established processes can we achieve equal opportunity. As a woman in a predominantly masculine digital sector, I had to learn quickly how to make it. I’ve had wonderful companions and mentors – both male and female – who have supported me in my personal and professional development. Now I want to give something back.

Gareth: The desire to belong to this cause has long been an important part of my life – it began when I was young in an all-boys school in my hometown of Dublin. As I’ve grown up, the feeling has become more pronounced – as a gay man with a slight stature, this is particularly important to me. Treating all people with respect and dignity is of paramount importance to me as a person. And as an employee, I would like to be valued for what I offer Salesforce – regardless of my stature, sexual identity, skin color, age or creed. I am grateful to work for a company that sees equality as a fundamental value of its corporate philosophy.

How does Salesforce support this?

Nina: Salesforce contributes with a clear commitment to equality based on four pillars: pay equity, equal opportunity for training, continuing professional development and equal rights for all. In addition, Salesforce employees support and organize themselves in Employee Resource Groups (ERG). Besides the Salesforce Women’s Network, which I actively supported in Germany, Outforce advocates equal opportunities for the LGBT community. ERGs are supported by the voluntary commitment of employees, but they enjoy the full support of the entire management team.

What kind of support would you recommend?

Gareth: Openness and tolerance are fundamental to supporting an inclusive workforce. Listening, participating and addressing topics are just some of the simplest ways to support equal opportunities in companies. Regularly and actively reviewing "unconscious bias," or subconscious prejudices, also helps.

Nina: Engage and connect! There are numerous networks, such as Women in Digital, that have put the issue of equal opportunities on the map and are there with advice and action.

Would you like to know more about equality & inclusion? A discussion on the topic "Equal Opportunity at the Workplace" will take place on the Pioneer Stage at the Salesforce World Tour @ CeBIT on March 20 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Visit us!

Interested in the Salesforce World Tour @ CeBIT? Visit us!