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Episode 9: Diversity in the Salesforce Space

Join us at Dreamin' in Color in Raleigh, NC! Learn about Diversity in the Salesforce Space and how you can be an Ally.

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Episode Description

According to Trailblazer’s 2021 diversity report, only five percent of Trailblazers identify as Black. And when you’re part of the five percent, you might not want to fork over the money for a plane ticket to go to a conference or Salesforce event where so few people look like you. 

That’s why Tiffany Spencer, fellow Salesforce MVP and Director of Salesforce Partnerships at Bitwise Industries, started Dreamin’ In Color, a conference geared toward current or aspiring Black Salesforce professionals.

“Dreamin’ In Color is [about] community coming together to help solve each other's problems and to be able to move forward together,” Tiffany says.

Don’t miss this episode of Serious Insights for Salesforce Admins, as Tiffany joins podcast host Kristi Campbell, Senior Salesforce Admin & Salesforce MVP, to chat about the Dreamin’ In Color conference, the diversity challenges in the Salesforce space and what everyone can do to be an ally.

Listen to this episode to learn: 

  • How to diversify — and keep your employees
  • How to be a better ally
  • What to expect from Dreamin’ In Color 2022

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Episode Summary 

According to Trailblazer’s 2021 diversity report, only five percent of Trailblazers identify as Black. And when you’re part of the five percent, you might not want to fork over the money for a plane ticket to go to a conference or Salesforce event where so few people look like you. 

That’s why Tiffany Spencer, fellow Salesforce MVP and Director of Salesforce Partnerships at Bitwise Industries, started Dreamin’ In Color, a conference geared toward current or aspiring Black Salesforce professionals.

What began as an effort to introduce students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities has grown into a three-day conference with more than 60 sessions starting on June 29th in Raleigh, North Carolina. She first decided to host the conference after a visit to Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of the 1921 Race Massacre that destroyed a flourishing Black city.

“Black Americans were […] building their own communities and their own towns and creating wealth, and those towns were burned down,” she says. “And I think about that in my career, how many times in my career my confidence was burned down, and then having to rebuild that. And so Dreamin’ In Color is [about] community coming together to help solve each other's problems and to be able to move forward together.”

At Dreamin’ In Color, participants will be able to network with other current and aspiring Salesforce professionals and get the support they need to advance in their careers. Tiffany encourages allies to participate, too — either by attending or sponsoring a ticket.

Don’t miss this episode of Serious Insights for Salesforce Admins as Tiffany joins podcast host Kristi Campbell, Senior Salesforce Admin & Salesforce MVP, to chat about the diversity challenges in the Salesforce space and what everyone can do to be an ally.

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Key Takeaways 

Recruiting and retention are the most important parts of diversification. 

It’s no surprise that Salesforce users of color may be tired of being a small minority at work and conferences. So how can companies add more diversity to their talent pool?

 

Tiffany says it’s all about using informed recruitment and retention strategies. Make sure you’re posting inclusive job listings on boards that attract diverse talent and don’t forget to support your employees once you’ve hired them. “People are not wanting to be at a company that doesn't support them, doesn't see them and doesn't want to put forth the effort to diversify,” she says.

 

Dreamin’ In Color is for the 5% — and their allies. 

According to the Trailblazer 2021 diversity report, only 5 percent of Trailblazers identify as Black. That’s why Tiffany created the Dreamin’ In Color conference — so that Black Salesforce users and aspiring professionals can network and get the support they need to advance in their careers.

 

Tiffany also encourages allies to take a more active role by participating in the conference and listening to their Black colleagues’ experiences — or by sponsoring a ticket.

 

Listen to your peers and be an active voice.  

It’s one thing to add diversity to your organization. It’s another to create a healthy and supportive environment for your entire team.

 

One of the best things allies can do to help make their communities and organization more inclusive is to listen to their peers’ experiences. But it’s also about making an active effort to speak up when necessary and advocate for them. “We don't want it to always be left to those that are more marginalized to always have to speak up. It needs to be more unified, it needs to come from the other side,” Tiffany says.

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Featured Guest: Tiffany Spencer of Dreamin’ In Color, Bitwise and Tech Forward

 

💥 What she does: Founder of Dreamin’ In Color, VP of Salesforce Partnerships at Bitwise Industries and Founder of Tech Forward, a nonprofit aimed at exposing marginalized communities to cloud- and SAAS-based technologies and career paths.

 

💻 Dreamin’ In Color on the web: Twitter | LinkedIn 

 

💻 Tech Forward on the web: Twitter | LinkedIn 

 

🔗 Tiffany on the web: Twitter | LinkedIn | Trailblazer 

 

🧠 Tiffany’s big idea: “This whole idea about being woke is really just an awakening. It's opening your eyes to things that were already happening around you that maybe you didn't see because it didn't affect you.”

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Episode Highlights  

Key excerpts from the episode transcript

 

💡 To diversify, focus on recruitment and retention.

[05:15] “When you look at the overall talent pipeline, there’s lots of different areas that we can focus on. One of the areas is around hiring and making sure our job descriptions are more inclusive, making sure that we're posting in places where we can attract more diverse talent. And so that is some of the reason why companies are not seeing more diverse candidates show up in their talent pipelines. […] On the one side is recruiting; the other side is retention, right. And so what you were talking about, is where companies in the ecosystem have to put more thought and effort into retaining their employees. I remember going into consulting and not having a lot of support. I had some really great managers later in my career, but in the beginning and middle, I didn't feel very supported, I didn’t feel very seen. And what you see now happening, I think, is a lot of people not wanting to deal with that. People are not wanting to be at a company that doesn't support them, doesn't see them and doesn't want to put forth the effort to diversify.

💡 Allies need to take an active role in diversity and inclusion.

[08:23] “We want to create a community, and we want people to network so that we can come together and move forward. And I'm really excited about being an example for others that maybe haven't seen a Black-owned Salesforce partner in the ecosystem, or people that haven't seen Black technical architects or Black developers. And so being able to see that and get tips and come together as a community, and then like you said, bringing other allies in that say, Oh, my gosh, I'm really learning a lot. How can I support you? [...] I think allies really need to take more of an active role in being a voice for others in the room, of advocating for people in a room.”

💡 Dreamin’ In Color is about helping uplift other people of color.

[14:20] “Last year, I was in Tulsa for Juneteenth. That is where I decided that I was really inspired to move forward with planning this conference. Being in the community of Tulsa and understanding what that community went through. It's this idea of, People should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and if you work hard, then you'll make it in America. This whole American dream. And one of the things that I like to remind people is that, Black Americans were doing that. They were building their own communities and their own towns and creating wealth, and those towns were burned down. Tulsa was burned to the ground, there's very little Tulsa left. And so that traumatizes people, this having to rebuild things over and over. And I think about that in my career, how many times in my career, my confidence was burned down, and then having to rebuild that. And so Dreamin’ In Color is a [about] community coming together to help solve each other's problems, and to be able to move forward together. And that is really what I'm excited about.”

💡 Dreamin’ In Color has something for everyone.

[17:12] “So we actually have four session tracks; we'll have over 60 sessions. So there's a career and well-being track, where we'll have sessions around how to create a career path for yourself. [...] Then we'll have a best-practices track. So that's everything from admin best practices, marketing best practices, design best practices, BA best practices. So there's all kinds of sessions in that track. Then we have a leadership and entrepreneurship track. And so a lot of that is going to be around people that want to be or already are independent freelance consultants, or want to start an actual, really full consulting company with other consultants. [...] And then our last track is our product and technical demos. So we're going to have a hands-on Tableau session, we're going to have some marketing cloud or engagement Pardot  sessions. And then our amazing sponsors are going to have sessions that are going to be going over use cases with their products.” 

💡 The best thing allies can do is listen.

[22:02] “For Dreamin’ In Color, there is a sponsor-a-ticket option. And so allies can go and sponsor a ticket for other people to attend if you can't, or don't want, to attend in person. And then in general, I think it's really important to listen to your co-workers, understand how you can support them, advocate for them, be a sponsor for them, and really speak up because we don't want it to always be left to those that are more marginalized to always have to speak up. It needs to be more unified, it needs to come from the other side. And being able to see people, understand people and speak up for people is always, always helpful.”  


Top Quotes: 

[03:28] “The Trailblazer diversity report says 5% of Trailblazers identify as Black or African American. But when you're 5% at work, sometimes you don't want to pay money and fly to go be 5% at an event. And I think that's kind of how I felt in the beginning. And so that's really why I'm really excited about Dreamin’ In Color and creating a space for Black people to really see themselves in the Salesforce ecosystem, and to allow allies and other people to come and celebrate the diversity of this ecosystem.”

 

[09:06] “I think allies really need to take more of an active role in being a voice for others in the room, of advocating for people in a room. Taking your peers to the side to say, Hey listen, we need to be more inclusive. What you said can be taken wrong. And so it's going to take all of us working together.”

 

[22:13] “I think it's really important to listen to your co-workers, understand how you can support them, advocate for them, be a sponsor for them and really speak up because we don't want it to always be left to those that are more marginalized to always have to speak up. It needs to be more unified, it needs to come from the other side. And being able to see people, understand people and speak up for people is always, always helpful.”  


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