Embracing Diversity: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Voices at Salesforce
June 21, 2023
More than 7% of U.S. adults identify as LGBTQ+ — double what was reported in 2012, according to a recent Gallup poll. But, despite an increase in reported identification, the LGBTQ+ community continues to face challenges in being entirely accepted, respected, and supported — in society and in the workplace.
At Salesforce, we’re working to build a more inclusive workplace and world. With transparent representation goals and employee-led Equality Groups — including Outforce, which brings together employees who are allies of equality in sexual orientation and gender identity — we’re focused on creating support systems to promote advocacy and allyship.
Here is the story of Britt DeBole, a Salesforce employee dedicated to doing just that:
We’re better because of Britt
In past roles, Britt was othered at work — even overhearing a colleague ask someone, “Are you okay working with her because she’s gay?” At Salesforce, Britt notes that they aren’t only encouraged to be their authentic self, but also given a platform to do so.
Since joining as an Account Executive based in New York City, Britt DeBole (she/they) has become an active member of Outforce. “The technology space is stressful, no matter what company you represent. Things change rapidly and require all cylinders to fire at once, so having a haven like Outforce gives me a sense of relief.”
Calling their Outforce community their “second home,” DeBole said this is the first time they’ve experienced the intersection of being an active member of the queer community and being engaged at work.
“[Outforce] gives underrepresented communities a voice, a chance to coalesce around themes of and for progress, and give back for the greater good,” DeBole said. “It threads commonality, helps us stay connected to one another, and be a part of something other than the amazing technology we support, create, and sell. I’m more than just a number, I’m a part of a movement.”
Thriving is the goal
When Britt joined the company in 2021, Outforce was rebuilding after navigating personnel and technology changes. Since then, the team has developed new content and programming. They have strategically recruited a consistent group of engaged members, advocates, and allies. Plus, they innovate on global Pride activations every year.
Britt calls their fellow Outforce members their “calm in the storm” — helping them to navigate not just allyship at Salesforce, but also their own career journey. Since starting, they have learned about the importance of deal orchestration, that it’s okay to ask for help, and why it’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate.
“You think you’ve worked in technology — and then you join Salesforce, and there is so much innovation, so many different ways to structure a deal, a contract, an opportunity,” DeBole said. “And, there are so many resources to support you.”
Actively championing equality at all levels
At Salesforce, equality is more than just an ideal — it’s a core value reflected across everything we do. “It’s more than just lip service, our leadership team operationalizes around it,” shares Britt.
To that end, Salesforce has its own Office of Equality, which supports two marque events each year — Trailblazing Women Summit and Representation Matters, an annual racial equality summit that celebrates, empowers, and elevates the Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ communities.
We believe that achieving equality takes the collective effort of every leader within the organization. That's why our ESG measures not only drive meaningful change but also hold our leaders accountable for promoting representation and inclusivity.
Equality at work creates impact
Studies have shown that diverse teams are smarter, more innovative, and more inclusive to others. Companies that prioritize equality as a core value create thriving ecosystems that empower LGBTQ+ identifying individuals to bring their whole selves to work, as their voices are not only heard but valued. Salesforce actively elevates all employees by fostering an inclusive and supportive environment through expansive benefits, resources, and initiating important conversations about equality in the workplace and in our communities.
If you want to learn more about Salesforce, its workplace culture, and its commitment to equality, join our Talent Community today. You’ll join a network of candidates who are interested in building a better future — just as DeBole has done since joining Salesforce.