To me, Salesforce feels like an NGO masquerading as a multi-billion-dollar software firm! It is an extremely humane organisation. I have never been out at work before, always worrying about how employers would perceive my sexual identity, and whether it would affect my career progress given the conservative environment in India.
Salesforce empowered me to be my authentic self – I came out to everyone on day one, within the first hour of being in the company. The moment of truth was simple. I was sitting through the company’s orientation programme with the other new employees, and saw a purposeful slide with an image of two guys holding hands. Many companies talk about equality, but here was a company that actually included a provocative image like this in a standard orientation deck. Images hold power and force people to face reality, and this one spoke volumes to me about the company’s commitment to equality.
Salesforce has truly embraced equality and made it part of the company’s DNA. I’ll give you a few examples. When you fill out your profile on Chatter, our internal social networking tool, you are asked to choose your preferred pronoun – 30,000+ employees are doing this! The preferred pronouns of one of Salesforce’s mascots, Astro, are ‘they’ and ‘them’.
Every day, Salesforce is pushing boundaries and encouraging employees to do the same. Initiatives like Outforce, an employee resource group, empowers us to engage in discussions around equality of LGBT communities. I have had many conversations with colleagues; we have even disagreed without being disagreeable. These are conversations I would expect at a place like JNU, not in the world’s best tech firm. And that shows me that for Salesforce, equality is just business as usual.