February is Black History Month. It is a time to honor the contributions and accomplishments made by Black people throughout history, while highlighting their relevance and perspective, and reflecting on the ongoing fight for racial justice and equity.
Salesforce, as a socially responsible company, has many unique and thoughtful initiatives to commemorate this month. This year, they intend to shed light on some of their nonprofit customers who support and collaborate with Black and African American communities.
At EMPAUA, being a Salesforce consultancy and a community of SF Trailblazers ourselves, we strive to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry and encourage everyone, including companies and individuals to be part of the movement. Therefore we want to share with you some ways to honor this Black History Month and create a positive impact within your community as a Salesforce trailblazer.
Please remember that while Black History Month may be set for one month each year, the recognition and celebration of Black People, Black History, and Black Culture should be a year-round event. So it’s essential to always get involved and help to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture by enabling equal visibility and participation. With that being said, let’s dive right in!
You may wonder - Why should we all celebrate this month? The answer here is to acknowledge the reality of Black people and white bias in our culture and narrative of history. Learning about each other's cultures and history, we help to foster a sense of belonging, understanding, and compassion in the workplace.
Even though you may not feel too familiar with the topic, there are always ways to start contributing meaningfully. Nothing is more important than to begin by cultivating awareness through education. Here are a few things that can help get you started:
In America, the tech industry is aware that they have a race problem. If you search for the keywords “lack of diversity in the tech industry” in online search engines, you will find several articles and reports talking about this topic in the US backed by numbers and data. For example, Black professionals comprise just 5% of the US tech workforce despite making up 13% of the country's population.
However, due to the lack of data collection from large companies in Europe, you will not find such a variety of reports and articles here. Acknowledging this can encourage individuals and organisations to take small steps to create a more inclusive tech hub in Europe, similar to what Colorintech is doing.
From the first search engine to the home security system that we have today, you name it, achieved by the innovative thinking and contribution of Black individuals. Read more about it here.
You can start with these blogs from Salesforce: Four of the Most Influential Black Women Inspire Change, Telling the Story: How Representation Is Everyone’s Business.
“Action without study is fatal. Study without action is futile.” - Mary Ritter Beard.
To actively honor BHM and create a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture, we must commit to taking action while we continue learning.
So if you’re ready to take action to drive change, here are a few examples of what you can do right within the Salesforce system:
This trail is a great starting point as it covers a variety of topics including critical business values of equality, inclusive leadership and what you can do to promote equality.
To find out how Black Trailblazers are achieving their career milestones, setting ambitious goals, and inspiring others along the way, read and share Trailblazer stories honoring Black trailblazers. Here is an example from The 360 Blog, Let's Honor Our Black Trailblazers.
Also sending them big props through the Trailhead community for their achievements like this is not a bad idea!
Here are a few organisations for you to take a look:
Salesforce professionals are at the upper levels of earning scales around the world. What is surprising is many individuals who are pursuing their careers in Salesforce have no degrees or tech background. These two Trailblazers from Salesforce are living examples.
So if your friends are thinking about a career change into tech but are hesitating because of being unqualified, you might want to introduce and encourage them to join the Salesforce workforce.
There are many resources to help them get started. We highly recommend reading this article from Salesforce Ben and checking out this Salesforce Platform Basics Trail first. The Trailblazer Community is a great place to connect with other Trailblazers and ask for advice. As part of an ecosystem with a strong community focus, Salesforce professionals are always ready to help and love sharing their own learnings. For example, check out this blog where Katalin and Sri from EMPAUA discussed things they wish they knew before starting as Salesforce Consultants. Or if you are thinking of becoming a Salesforce Project Manager, then this one from Wei is for you!
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