At Salesforce, we believe diversity and inclusion at all levels is critical to our business. A diverse workforce gives us the unique perspectives we need to build the most innovative products and engage effectively with customers and partners. It’s also vital to strengthening our company, delivering customer success, giving back to our communities, winning as a team, and attracting and retaining top talent.
Salesforce is a unique company founded on three disruptive ideas—a new technology model in cloud computing, a pay-as-you-go business model and a new integrated corporate philanthropy model. These founding principles have taken our company to great heights, including being named one of Forbes World’s Most Innovative Company five years straight and one of Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For seven years in a row.
We are proud of these achievements, but every day we strive to be better and evolve as a company. We’ve realized that we need to add another facet to our core principles: a commitment to building a more diverse workforce that mirrors the communities where we work and live. In that spirit, we are working to increase diversity at Salesforce across three fronts:
1. Equal Pay: Assess the compensation of our more than 17,000 employees. To start, we have taken a sample size of men and women across the entire company and all departments—all with similar tenure, levels and peak performance. We found a need to adjust some salaries—for both women and men. This process could take up to a year to complete, and we plan to review salaries on an ongoing basis. This will be part of our core principles moving forward. We are also implementing more rigor around adherence to our compensation structures during hiring and promotions. To learn more about our efforts around equal pay, check out this video.
2. Equal Advancement: Increase access to advancement opportunities for all. New initiatives aimed at increasing access to development and promotions are now in place. More than a year ago, we set and achieved a goal of having women make up at least one third of the attendees at our executive management meetings and one third of the speakers at our customer events to reflect the makeup of our female population. I’m proud to say that these efforts to create more development opportunities for our female employees are working. In the past 12 months ending July 31, 2015, the number of women that were promoted in the last year increased by 33%—moving from 24% to 32%.
3. Equal Opportunity: Build a more diverse pipeline and recruit a more diverse workforce. We’ve doubled down on our community outreach efforts to nonprofits and educational groups focused on driving diversity in tech, including adding more diverse schools to our FutureForce university recruiting efforts, increasing our support for STEM education initiatives that touch diverse populations, and supporting the work of nonprofits building a more diverse tech worker pipeline. One example is our partnership with CoderDojo, a global non-profit providing free coding courses for young people. This year Salesforce-supported Dojos will reach 420 youths with a 50/50 ratio of boys and girls in each session.
On the hiring front, we are addressing unconscious bias through more awareness training and by instituting more competencies-based interviewing processes. We’ve also put in place a process where we interview at least one female candidate or underrepresented minority for executive positions. Over the last 12 months, nearly 40% of all new Salesforce hires in the US were either women, African American, Hispanic, Native American, Hawaiian, or two or more races—an increase of approximately 5% over the 38% in the previous 12 months. Globally, 19% of our leadership (vice president and above titles) are now females – an increase of 27% from the 15% we last reported a year ago.
We are on the path to increasing diversity and inclusion at all levels at Salesforce. We recognize we have a long way to go, but when we rally around a goal and work together as a team, we believe we can accomplish anything.
We value the action that has been inspired by the dialogue around this topic and want to be transparent with our diversity statistics. Our numbers are updated annually and always available on salesforce.com/diversity.
Cindy Robbins is the EVP, Global Employee Success, Salesforce.