February 27, 2020

How Salesforce Works to Elevate Voices of Racial Equality

By Isabel Gonçalves

 

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and diverse - it’s more important than ever to have a workplace that welcomes all. Salesforce is striving to create a workplace that reflects the diverse communities we serve and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. 

 

Black History Month screens in our Salesforce lobbies highlighting Civil Rights heroes. 


During Black History Month and every month, we honor the voices of the Civil Rights Movement and of racial equality. This month empowered us with a greater understanding and deeper appreciation of the enduring contributions from Black and African-American leaders and visionaries — and of how they’ve shaped our global history, experience, and identity. Over 2,000 Salesforce employees joined BOLDforce, our employee resource group for our Black employees and allies, and attended the MLK march in 17 locations around the globe to stand united as one.

 

L-R: Cindy Tyeskey-Gage, VP Executive Programs, Monica Bowie, Marketing Manager, Executive Programs and Craig Cuffie, SVP, Global Sourcing and Procurement attend the MLK March in Atlanta

 

“It is really important for me to be a part of the MLK day here at Salesforce. This is our third year participating here in Atlanta, Georgia, and it's really important to do it here in Atlanta, which is Dr. King’s birthplace. So long ago, he led the charge and empowered and inspired us all to carry on his legacy,” said Monica Bowie, BOLDforce Global president. 

Here are some of the voices from visionaries we’ve had the honor of hosting on our stages — because we believe it is our responsibility to use our platform for change: 

Congressman John Lewis on Action Leadership

“When I was 15 in 1955, I heard of Rosa Parks, I heard the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the radio, and of the involvement of hundreds and thousands of people in Montgomery. They inspired me to get into good trouble. Growing up, I didn't like racial discrimination and racial segregation and I wanted to do something about it,” said Congressman John Lewis, Representative of the 5th Congressional District of Georgia at Dreamforce in 2017.

 

Rep. John Lewis speaking on stage at Dreamforce in 2017 alongside Billy Jean King, former World No. 1 professional tennis player and a longtime champion for social justice and gender equality.

 

Melody Hobson on Diverse Leadership

“Our goal is to make sure that the Civil Rights agenda is not left outside of the boardroom and so that diverse people are considered across all levels of the organization,” said Melody Hobson, the president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments at Dreamforce in 2018. Representation of Black professionals at the executive and senior-level manager role is currently at 3.2%, and only 0*% are Fortune 500 CEOs. 

 

Melody Hobson, the president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments speaking at Dreamforce Equality Summit in 2018

 

As the saying goes — "you can't be what you can't see." There is undeniable power in representation. What we see around us — whether it's in media, on stage, or in the boardroom — shapes how we see the world and determines what we believe is possible. 

Cristina Jones on Inclusive Storytelling

 “We need to tell stories that are reflective of the societies that we live and work in. And the only way to do that authentically is to have a workforce that looks like the society that we live and work in,” said Cristina Jones, SVP, Customer Marketing, Brand Partnership, & C-Suite Engagement at the Trailblazing Women Summit in 2019. 

 

Cristina Jones, SVP, Customer Marketing, Brand Partnership, & C-Suite Engagement speaking onstage at the Trailblazing Women Summit in 2019

 

Our companies all have platforms we can use to tell inclusive and authentic stories. To help content creators everywhere begin to think through this lens, we created an Inclusive Marketing Trailhead module. The trailhead seeks to empower those on the front lines of a companies brand — marketers and storytellers— with the tools they need to reflect and elevate the diverse communities we serve. This training is free and available to all, learn more here

Ibtihaj Muhammad on the Power of Allyship

“Don't think that you have to be an athlete you have to have a large platform to show up and be an ally like if you have one follower if you have a family that you sit across from at dinner if you have if you're a human being you can actually show up for one another,” said Ibtihaj Muhammad, US Olympic medalist, entrepreneur, and activist at the Dreamforce Equality Summit in 2019. 

 

Video: Voices of Racial Equality

 
 

As we honor these voices of the Civil Rights 2.0 movement, we are also reminded of our role as allies to show up speak up for others when we see an injustice. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said; “No one is free until we are all free.”

We are all on this journey towards Equality for all — learning and moving forward together, united as one. Learn more about our path toward equality for all at Salesforce.com/Equality.