This week marks International Women’s Day, March 8th, a global celebration of women and companies throughout the world engage women and men in conversations around gender diversity, women in the workplace and success. One of the companies at the forefront is Salesforce. Equality is a core value at Salesforce. Led by CEO Marc Benioff, Salesforce strives to create workplaces that reflect the communities we serve and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work.
In addition to equality being a core value, it has a halo effect on recruiting and retention of top talent. After all, diverse companies are more innovative and better positioned to succeed. In 2016, Salesforce spent nearly $3 million to eliminate statistically significant differences in pay in this first-ever equal-pay assessment.
We spoke to Divya Ashok, Director of Product Management and President of Salesforce Women’s Network about how they have built a dynamic women’s employee resource group that mentors, motivates and supports all employees.
Glassdoor: Equality is a core part of Salesforce’s Ohana. How has the Women’s Network become an integral part in supporting the promotion and growth of women at Salesforce?
Divya Ashok: Inclusion is a critical part of our commitment to equality to make sure we retain our diverse talent and ensure that we continue to be a destination workplace for all. As part of this, Salesforce supports 10 employee resource groups, called Ohana Groups, to provide a community for underrepresented groups and their allies, offer professional development and mentoring opportunities, and empower employees to be responsive equality leaders in their community. The Women’s Network is Salesforce’s oldest and largest Ohana Group! Founded in 2008, the Salesforce Women’s Network now has over 5,000 global members working toward gender equality in the workplace and beyond.
Glassdoor: What are the types of activities the Women’s network hosts?
Divya Ashok: The vision of the Salesforce Women’s Network is to build a global women’s network to invest, support and empower in our global community of women, and inspire the Salesforce Ohana to focus on improving inclusion, equality and diversity to help Salesforce be the best place for all. Its programs include LeanIn Circles, International Women’s Day events, hands-on activities to aid non-profits focused on women and children, Woman of the Month series, mentorship programs, and more.
This month, we’re excited to celebrate International Women’s Month with more than 30 events and campaigns across the globe.
Glassdoor: How does the women’s network support young women and new employees to LeanIn and navigate their careers?
Divya Ashok: From day one, new employees are encouraged to join Ohana groups of their interest. All of our Ohana Groups provide leadership and professional development opportunities. Salesforce’s Women’s Network, for example, offers Lean In circles, which provide opportunities for employees to network and learn from experienced employees. We also have events like speed-mentoring to help employees meet potential mentors and role models.
Glassdoor: How do you show the impact of the strong female community at Salesforce to potential candidates?
Divya Ashok: During our day-one orientation, we encourage all new employees to join an Ohana Group within the first 30 days or their hire. It’s an amazing way to get the word out about Women’s Network from the start.
We also have a strong presence at conferences like Grace Hopper, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit and our own World Tours.
Glassdoor: What are one or two anecdotes or examples of the type of trust and support that women at Salesforce enjoy?
Divya Ashok: The best example of this is through Salesforce’s commitment to equal pay for equal work. Salesforce has conducted two equal pay audits, resulting in the company spending approximately $6 million to date to address any unexplained differences in pay between men and women, as well as races in the U.S. I’m proud of the strong stance we’ve taken as a company on equal pay.