Empower Women in Leadership – Shaping the Agenda Highlights

On Tuesday 31st March, we launched our ‘Empower Women in Leadership’ series as a virtual event.

The aim of these events are to shape, influence and inform companies within the Salesforce eco-system about how they can implement new ways to attract, support and retain women in the workplace to help increase the number of women in tech, support gender equality and women returners.

Our mission is to inspire, inform and ignite action amongst senior level professionals from Salesforce, SI’s, ISVs and End Customers to champion women in tech. Working from the top down, we aim to equip leaders with the knowledge and confidence to attract, support and retain women in their workplace by championing gender equality, flexibility and inclusion.

Our first event, ‘Shaping the Agenda’ was hosted by Heather Black, Founder and CEO of Supermums with guest speakers Kristy Merson and Sara Earnshaw, representatives of the Women’s Network at Salesforce, focusing of what they are doing to invest, support and empower the global community of women.

Over her career, the average women can expect to earn a quarter of a million pounds less than the average man

Kristy Merson is a leader in the Solution Engineering organisation at Salesforce and has been President of the UK Salesforce Women’s Network for the past 3 years.

Kristy is a firm believer that to we need diverse perspectives to answer the questions the future has in store; and to create space for these perspectives, we need to seek out the qualities in people that will make them successful. Having taken an unconventional path in her own career, she is passionate about diversity of experience, women’s employability and the impact even the smallest of actions can have on someone’s life. This is why she is so inspired by the work of organisations such as Salesforce Supermums, SmartWorks and STEMettes as well as the power that ERG’s can have on corporate culture and the communities they’re a part of.

Sara Devi Earnshaw leads Salesforce’s Data Solutions Success team for EMEA. Salesforce Women’s Network UK’s incoming President, Sara has been a member of the SWN committee for 2 years.

Sara’s career began in digital marketing and advertising – an industry not known for flexibility. She takes the (presently) unusual view that flexible working drives organisations forward through improved processes and communication. Sara’s favourite question about a job candidate is, “what will this person bring to us that is new or different from what we have today?“

What is the Salesforce Women’s Network and why does it matter?

The vision of the Salesforce Women’s Network (SWN) is to build a global women’s network to invest, support and empower the 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 to work. The SWN was the 1st equality group in Salesforce and still remains today one of the largest with over 10k global members across 42 offices and they dedicated over 15k volunteer hours in 2019.

The network has one rule: Ask, Listen, Show Up & Speak Up. Joining is voluntary but they want every member to be active, participate and make a difference. For over 20 years, they have helped:

  • Promote equal representation, particularly in hiring
  • Educate others on women’s experiences
  • Create a stronger voice in calling out behaviours which go against our values
  • Change the narrative – Equality is not a nice to have, it’s a need to have!

We asked our guests ‘How many of us have a women’s network where we work?’

  • 20% have been part of a company that started a women’s network but it lost its way or fizzled out
  • 10% are starting theirs right now
  • 70% don’t currently have one

It’s no surprise that the majority of companies don’t yet have one but supporting women at work has never been more important. At a time when flexible and remote working, juggling careers, kids and home-life all collide, it’s now that we need more than ever, to discover the best strategies for supporting women in the workplace now and in the long term.

Following on from a recent interview Heather had with Anna Bankcroft, Managing Director at Accenture, who sponsor our Marketing Cloud Course they conducted a large piece of research around equality in the workplace and off the back of these findings have agreed to aim to have 50/50 gender balance at all levels by 2025.

In previous research they identified 40 factors (the whole piece can be found at www.accenture.com/gettingtoequal ) such as flexibility and being encouraged to take parental leave, that work together to create a culture where everyone can advance and thrive. These factors formed the basis of the two new surveys they carried out to uncover how leaders and employees view and experience them.

From this research, the factors that influence advancement and characterize a culture of equality were broken down into 3 main areas;

  • Bold Leadership
  • Comprehensive Action
  • Empowering Environment

You could create your own company theory of change using these factors to ask your staff what’s important to them and use your findings to help gauge how well you are progressing towards reaching your equality in the workplace goals.

Another key message that came out of our Shaping the Agenda webinar is how to give women a powerful voice. Our next webinar on Tuesday 12th May explores this in more detail and we have guest speakers, Antoinette Dale Henderson and Helen Kelisky joining Heather. Don’t miss your place at this exciting webinar.

The Empower Women Leadership Lunches and webinars are brought to you by Supermums. A leading provider of certification training, in-house corporate training/coaching to support women and talent recruitment services for the Salesforce sector. Visit www.supermums.org to find out more.

Find out more about our Marketing Cloud Course

If you are ready to take that next step then join us on Marketing Cloud course that starts in October.

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