This week, Martha Galley, Vice President, Customers for Life, at Salesforce will speak with other esteemed female leaders at the Forward Together conference in Toronto, an annual event that aims to elevate women in the workplace so they can progress forward together.
Martha is a career mentor, outspoken supporter of women in business and an advocate for helping lift other professionals while she grows.
We caught up with Martha and asked her three questions about her career in technology and what advice she’d give to others as they pursue their careers in the field. We also asked her about the role volunteering and giving back has played in her career development.
If you could give one piece of advice for young girls thinking about a career in technology, what would it be?
To be consciously competent. By that I mean you need to understand what your strengths and skills are, where you want to go, how you’re going to get there and what challenges you’re ready and willing to tackle in your career. You also have to take a hard look at whether you have a personal support network to help you get there and be pragmatic about the time it might take you to get to your end goal. It’s frequently said that you can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you’re going. People don’t generally make it to leadership positions without a plan, so ensuring you have a clear and well-thought out plan for your career is tantamount.
What’s one technical skill you wish you had and why?
I'd love to have the data and skills of a data scientist. I always say you can’t expect what you’re unable to inspect. We have more and more data available to us than every before and there’s so much we can learn from it. Merging quantitative and qualitative inputs can help tackle not only the toughest problems but also our day-to-day business challenges. Fortunately, with Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud, I don’t have to go back to school to become a data scientist — every business user now has access to analytics like they’ve never before. I think it’s going to be a game-changer.
What types of volunteer activities inspire you and why? What has been your favorite volunteer activity you've participated in at Salesforce?
There have always been three important criteria for me when picking a company to work for — quality of people, depth and breadth of the company and its products, and an organization with a soul — I’ve found all three of these in Salesforce. I’m so incredibly proud to work for a company where corporate philanthropy and volunteerism is at the core of our culture. I love that I can also pursue volunteer opportunities that I’m passionate about. I care most deeply about organizations that provide food and shelter for women and children in need around the globe. I volunteered for several months at an international education and cultural exchange organization and I’m a regular volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Glide Foundation. I also care deeply about helping develop women in business and leadership, and I participate in informal and formal networking with many other professional women at different stages of their careers.
For more best practices on making the most of your career, check out Salesforce’s free eBook: Women in Technology: Make the Most of Your Career