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June 10, 2020
Taking Action for Racial Equality and Justice
By Ebony Beckwith and Tony Prophet
Systemic racism and violence have affected the Black community for far too long. Across the nation and around the world people are grieving for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others who have been unjustly denied their fundamental rights to justice and even life itself. And, this all in the context of a global pandemic that is disproportionately impacting communities of color.
We believe businesses can be a powerful platform for social change. As a company, we are led by our core value of equality and we stand as allies to the Black community against racism, violence, and hate. We all have an urgent responsibility to act. As Mellody Hobson, President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments, says, “We talk about the three P’s — People, Purchasing, Philanthropy.” In our approach we are adding a fourth P — Policy.
To help us move these initiatives forward with urgency and care — we have assembled a Racial Equality and Justice task force led by our Equality, Recruiting, Philanthropy, Procurement and Government Affairs teams. The task force will assemble an advisory panel of leaders from inside and outside of Salesforce to inform how best to drive racial equality in the workplace and our communities.
Here are the actions that we’re taking now to bring change in these four areas:
We are deeply committed to accelerating and expanding our efforts across hiring, supporting, and empowering underrepresented groups.
With the guidance of BOLDforce, our Employee Resource Group for Black employees and allies, and our Office of Equality — we’ve convened Equality Circles, spaces where our leaders and employees can have candid and safe conversations on the issue of race to help us process, grieve, learn, and move forward together.
We take a multi-faceted approach to advancing Equality including building community through our 12 Equality Groups, or Employee Resource Groups, and growing diverse future leaders through initiatives like our Equality Mentorship program and a partnership with the Executive Leadership Council on an in-house development program focused on underrepresented minorities.
We’ve also recently brought together Recruiting with Equality in Tony’s new role as our Chief Equality and Recruiting Officer to foster an inclusive lens at each step in our hiring process, reinforcing our effort to build a workplace that reflects the communities we serve.
We are committed to fair, equitable, and inclusive business processes in all we do. This includes our commitment to Equal Pay for Equal Work and empowering our employees with Inclusive Business Practices through our online learning platform Trailhead and in-person trainings (i.e., Inclusive Hiring, Inclusive Leadership, Inclusive Marketing, and more.)
We know we have more work to do here and transparency is essential. We report on our progress annually on our public website.
We’re making a philanthropic grant toward supporting racial equality and justice through a $1 million donation to the NAACP.
Last month, we also partnered with BET and United Way on their relief fund, donating $500,000 to help address how the pandemic is disproportionally impacting Black American families.
We continue to lead our philanthropy efforts with a racial equity lens.
Investing in businesses in our communities is an important way we use our platform to help advance Equality. Our supplier diversity team is working to shift our focus from “counting spend” to “counting impact” to create more opportunities for economic growth in the communities where we do business. We do this through affiliation and sponsorship of national and regional diverse supplier development councils and associations. And, our Salesforce Ventures team will invest in, and empower, innovative Black founders through funding, guidance, sponsorships, and events.
As we take actions to address racism and systemic inequalities within the walls of Salesforce, we also need to be part of broader solutions across our society. There is no playbook for this. A first step we've taken is dedicating a key pillar of our taskforce to advocating for public policy reforms on critical areas, such as policing, hate crimes and criminal justice.
We know this is part of a much larger conversation but we want to do our part to change this moment into a movement. By doing better — by being better — we can honor the memory of those who have been taken by the forces of racism and hate.
There is still work to be done on this path toward racial equality. At Salesforce, we are committed to this journey through our various programs, our Employee Resource Groups and by practicing allyship. Learn more at Salesforce.com/Equality.