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Building Safe Spaces for Holistic Growth

Pragya Sharma

September 26, 2022

Throughout his career, Sumit Paul, Futureforce Recruiter at Salesforce, had several experiences of companies not truly embracing diversity and equality. That is — until he came to Salesforce.

From day one, Sumit has had first-hand experience of Salesforce living out its core value of equality. This has had a tremendous impact on how confident he feels in bringing his authentic self to work and, subsequently, his interactions, productivity, and performance. His story reflects how a culture of inclusivity is critical to personal and professional growth.

Thriving in a culture of inclusivity and trust

“I was always looking to work with an organisation that truly valued diversity and inclusion. Unfortunately, while many companies stated they did on paper, there was a huge gap when it came to living these every day on the office floor,” Sumit shares.

Sumit smiles while sitting on a bench.

“In the case of Salesforce, their approach to practising inclusivity was evident right from the day I first interviewed with them.” Sumit, who identifies as a gay man, goes on to share how his interview was a genuine conversation rooted in mutual respect and trust. “It made me instantly feel like part of the team.”

More than a year later, Sumit continues to witness and drive such inclusivity at all levels within Salesforce. “I’ve never heard of an organisation extending medical benefits to an HIV+ employee, but at Salesforce, this is a reality. Be it offering equal benefits for those with same-sex or live-in partners or participating in LGBTQ job fairs to hire diverse talent, equality is a value we live by at Salesforce,” says Sumit, who feels at home in such a work environment.“

“[Salesforce’s] approach to practising inclusivity was evident right from the day I first interviewed with them.”

Sumit’s current role is a busy one, managing campus recruitment for three business units in the organisation. On any given day, he is either on campus or on multiple calls with candidates, universities, and internal stakeholders to hire at the pace of Salesforce’s growth. With the flexibility Salesforce offers, he has the freedom to define his schedule.

“The working environment is very flexible. One of the things I truly love about Salesforce is that we’re always asked to prioritise work-life balance,” says Sumit.

Championing equality through employee resource groups

As part of the commitment to ensuring everyone is seen, heard, valued, and empowered to succeed, Salesforce has many employee resource groups designed to build community, educate allies, and drive equality.

“In India, we currently have six different groups. Employees from a common belief system, ideology, or a shared background come together to express what defines them at a deeper level. For instance, Faithforce is a group where members highlight the cultural and religious diversity that we have in a country like India. Similarly, Outforce is an LGBTQ group, of which I’m a member,” explains Sumit.

He recalls a session held by Outforce where he and other members spoke about struggling to find acceptance in society in their earlier years, feeling inadequate, and finally evolving as individuals on a journey of self-realisation. Today, he frequently takes to LinkedIn to write about matters close to his heart.

People smile with the Salesforce sign behind them. Sumit is on the far right.
“In India, we currently have six [employee resource] groups. Employees from a common belief system, ideology, or a shared background come together to express what defines them at a deeper level.”

Offering perspective for a highly fulfilling personal and professional life

Sumit believes that in today’s work environment, candidates will and should look for a culture that links diverse perspectives to innovation, deeper interpersonal connections, and better company culture.

“In the context of the Indian landscape, times are changing. Today, candidates, especially the younger generation, are much more aware of inclusivity and its impact on their career growth, mental health, and quality of life. We get a lot of candidates who want to know about the organisational culture and how it fares in terms of diversity and equality,” shares Sumit.

Impressed that even students are asking these questions, Sumit is grateful he’s able to answer them positively at Salesforce. “I find myself fortunate to have amazing answers in the form of examples, each made possible by our leaders.”

“Rest assured, you will feel heard and valued at Salesforce.”

Above competitive compensation, Sumit says companies need to create safe spaces for employees. “Such spaces are essential, not just for your mental health, but also to enable you to thrive in your professional role. This is true for everyone, even beyond candidates from the LGBTQ community; you could be a divorced man, a person with a disability, a new parent, or a professional returning from a sabbatical. Rest assured, you will feel heard and valued at Salesforce,” Sumit elaborates.

Like Sumit, are you looking for an inclusive workplace where you’re valued? At Salesforce, we are committed to advancing equality in the workplace and in society. Join our Talent Community➚ to stay in the know on the latest Salesforce career opportunities➚, news, and events!

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