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Building Safe Spaces: Salesforce Equality Group Leader on LGBTQ+ Equality at Work

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series to spotlight our Equality Groups and how they serve Salesforce employees globally. Check out previous interviews with the leaders of Asiapacforce, Southasiaforce, and Earthforce.

Outforce is a Salesforce Equality Group with more than 10,000 members. It helps the company provide a supportive and inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies and encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to work every day.

We spoke with Angie Delk (she/her), a senior analyst for sales operations and Global President of Outforce, to learn more about allyship, intersectionality, fostering LGBTQ+ safe spaces, and the power of coming together to make an impact.

Q. How did you first hear about Outforce?

Salesforce’s core value of Equality is one of the reasons I wanted to join the company. I remember hearing about how Salesforce advocated for LGBTQ+ rights in Indiana in 2015 and knew it would be a safe space for me and others in the community.

Q. What was your path to becoming Global President of Outforce?

In 2016, I joined Salesforce as a contractor and was hired full-time a few months later. I immediately joined Outforce and got involved with Outforce Women+ — a subgroup within Outforce for women and nonbinary individuals — where I met some of my closest friends.

I wanted to give more to the community and expand my reach, so I joined the Outforce Women+ leadership team in 2019. This all led to being elected Outforce Global President last year, and it’s been a wonderful journey. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished to date and what we have planned for the year ahead.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished to date and what we have planned for the year ahead.

Angie Delk, Senior Analyst for Sales Operations and Global President of Outforce

Q. What are your vision and priorities over the next year?

We’re committed to creating a workplace where all identities are welcome and people can express their authentic selves freely. We know the world is not always equitable, so we’re focused on creating a space at Salesforce where every member of the LGBTQ+ community feels heard, supported, and valued.

Around the world, we are seeing an unprecedented level of attacks against the LGBTQ+ community. In the U.S., over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures, which is a record high. We’re partnering with our Government Affairs team to help get out the vote in both the U.S. and some of our core international markets that have an election this year. This includes sharing nonpartisan resources with our members and allies to understand how and where to vote. This is in addition to the work our Government Affairs team does to advocate for legislation like the Equality Act.

We know the impact the external environment can have on our members, so we’re also focused on ways to support each other’s mental, physical, and social health. One way we’ll do this is through a new tool on Slack that connects Outforce members around the world for one-on-one conversations to build community, share support, and uplift one another.

Q. Can you share an example of how Outforce has made an impact on our business?

Outforce has directly influenced Salesforce’s benefits and products, which influences how we show up for our employees and our customers. We played a critical role in helping shape our gender-inclusive benefits, which provide transgender and non-binary employees with financial and emotional support. We also partnered with Slack’s product teams and Salesforce’s Office of Ethical and Human Use to introduce gender identity and pronoun data options into our products. These shifts have helped create a more inclusive workplace for Salesforce employees and our customers.

Q. How can allies support members of the LGBTQ+ community?

Being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community means being committed to continuous learning, showing empathy and respect, actively advocating for equality, and creating inclusive environments. The Trevor Project and the Human Rights Campaign have incredible resources on building inclusive workplaces, having intersectional conversations, and understanding the many identities that make up the LGBTQ+ community. More than ever, we need our allies to be engaged, speak up, and let us know we can rely on them.

Q. How is Outforce activating around Pride Month?

We’re kicking off the month with a fireside chat with our Outforce advisors to discuss this year’s theme, “You Belong. You Have All Along.” We are also focused on intersectionality and will co-host global events with other Equality Groups, such as an event with Vetforce discussing LGBTQ+ identity and military service, and with Indigenousforce on visibility within both communities. We are also partnering with Out & Equal to host a training session on “Intersectional Allyship at Work.”

Q. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned in your time as a leader?

The power of the collective. Sometimes it might feel like you’re too small to make a difference or that your one voice won’t matter. But when different perspectives and voices come together, you can make an outsized impact. I love seeing the incredible work across our global hubs and regions and how much we can achieve in our communities and at Salesforce, together.

Getting to Know Angie

  • What is your favorite book on leadership?
  • What has been your favorite Outforce event?
    • We recently hosted a training with Human Rights Campaign titled, “Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace: Busting Myths and Making Allies.” I learned a lot from that session when it comes to changes I can make in the workplace and how that carries over to my everyday life.
  • Outside of your work, what are some of your personal interests or hobbies that bring you joy?
    • I live near Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, so I try to take a walk every morning. I also enjoy yoga on the weekends, and a nice hot cup of ginger matcha tea!

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