At the end of May Salesforce announced their latest quarterly revenues of $5.96B, estimating they are on track for annual revenues of $26B this fiscal year – adding up to a 22% year-over-year growth. OK this ends the CNBC segment of this post, but I wanted to point out the big numbers because these numbers came while Salesforce has also been growing and deepening their efforts with corporate diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI).
So revenues continue growing alongside efforts to make the entire Salesforce ecosystem more equal and inclusive do as well. Which is one of the key points that Minea Moore, Ecosystem Diversity & Inclusion Director for Salesforce, made clear during our LinkedIn Live conversation from earlier this week. Below is an edited transcript of a portion of our conversation. Click on the embedded SoundCloud player to hear the full conversation.
Expanding the DEI Ecosystem
Small Business Trends: You went from Global Head of Supplier Diversity to Ecosystem Diversity & Inclusion Director, could you talk about progression?
Minea Moore: The work that I was doing at procurement was looking at what can we do with business enterprises, right? How do we support and drive diversity and inclusion with organizations that are 51% owned and operated by someone classified as diverse? Now in the partner ecosystem, we are looking at how do we support Black-owned businesses. How do we support women-owned businesses, LatinX businesses, LGBTQ diverse owned businesses; businesses from underrepresented groups.
In addition to that, we not only are supporting how we help the partners within our ecosystem grow, but we have a very strategic focus through our Talent Alliance Program on how we are re-skilling and up-leveling those that are diverse within our Trailblazer community and with our ecosystem. And actually connecting them to job opportunities within our partner ecosystem and with some of our customers. So, this piece of accelerating business growth and supporting diversity and inclusion or equality within the workplace, coupled with the work that we have the opportunity to do in the marketplace, we bridge that through the partner ecosystem, which is what really excites me.
And then you think about what we enable through the Salesforce economy with so many job opportunities, and just generating so much revenue. It’s not just about Salesforce but it’s the whole ecosystem and we have an opportunity to make an impact there. So, that’s what excites me because, when I think about the purpose and the vision overall, the work, what’s the impact of what we’re trying to do, personally for me it’s about generational wealth, wealth in underrepresented communities. And through entrepreneurship, through ownership, through investing in companies, and through job creation, we’re able to really make an economic impact I believe, and address some of the inequalities that exist today.
Small Business Trends: Does this set the tone for what you’re doing and the approach moving forward that Salesforce has to inclusion and equality? To be fully baked into the core of the business?
Minea Moore: Absolutely. It’s about purpose and impact and I believe that corporations, we have a responsibility to do well while doing good. And those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, you could do both in the space and… I could be just quite transparent with you and honest with you in my past when I’ve advocated on behalf of equality, not so much in Salesforce, but in my past advocating on behalf of equality, a lot of times it comes with this notion that the work that we’re doing is more charitable, right? Philanthropic, right? I remember one time talking to a female CPO who said, “well we have to figure out why these women owned businesses can’t compete”. And I had to have the conversation with her and say that it’s not a necessarily about they don’t have the ability to compete or they don’t have the qualifications, it’s that they don’t have the opportunity and the access.
And that’s really what we’re doing, right? We’re using our platform to drive equality in ways that just make business sense. And if you think about that from a technology perspective, technology is all about innovation. How do you get innovation? You have to have different folks at the table with different perspectives, bringing different solutions, and looking at the problems from their different angles to come up with the ultimate solution. You can’t be the next greatest company or come up with the next best technology without ensuring that you have diverse perspectives, diversity and an inclusive mindset. You can’t do that. And so, we have an opportunity especially through the work that we’re doing within the partner ecosystem and Salesforce has just strategically positioned. It’s funny, my former company was a customer to everyone. Salesforce is supplier to everyone.
We do business with everyone and it’s like you go talk to the company and they’re like, oh, I use Salesforce. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or big business, right? And so, we have this power powerful place position within the technology industry I believe to really be able to promote what that looks like and make an impact in the overall tech industry. And we have a responsibility and many of our fellow companies do as well, colleagues do as well. So, I’m excited that we work for a company where our founder and our leader, Marc Benioff, believes in that because it’s not just about words. It is about action. And even my role in particular is an example of how the company is really taken action and invested in ensuring that we are being intentional about this and really leading the way to make an impact to these communities.
Diversity includes age and education
Small Business Trends: Does diversity also include things such as age and education?
Minea Moore: Diversity includes gender, it includes race, ethnicity. It includes LGBTQ, persons with disabilities in the United States, and includes veterans status. And it definitely includes age and education. And when we talk about age, our program is global. When I talked to my colleagues outside of the United States age is a huge one that they want to have a conversation about. When you think about education that’s one of the things that we’ve heard a lot about in the technology industry and especially here within Salesforce, where we’re pushing the envelope in some areas. Not necessarily looking at what our requirements are with hiring new talent. Do they need to have a four-year degree?
This idea of having to have all the degrees and letters and accolades behind your name in the tech industry, we’re recognizing that sometimes that could cause a barrier to entry to some folks. And so, we’re really challenging ourselves to say, is that necessary? And so, diversity of education absolutely is important. And we’re pushing the envelope in some areas and challenging ourselves in other areas to see how do we make sure that while we’re on this journey to equality, that we recognize the equities that exists.
Diversity, Equality and Inclusion is not about Charity
Small Business Trends: I see Salesforce as being a leader in this space from a number of perspectives, and these efforts haven’t stopped the company from growing dramatically. In fact you have to think these efforts have helped the company grow like it has.
Minea Moore: And let’s just call out something that tends to be a micro aggression or what we used to call micro-inequities back in the day. When you use the term diversity and inclusion or you talk about having the initiatives around diversity, a lot of times it comes with a negative connotation and this belief that you’re sacrificing something. You’re sacrificing performance, you’re sacrificing like it’s terrible, right? You’re having to do business or hire somebody that may not be qualified for it. That is not what this is about whatsoever. And that’s one of the things that is something that really annoys me when people automatically lead with this notion of if you hire somebody that is a female or that is a minority or what have you, that you’re compromising in other areas. And data shows that that’s not the case.
You have companies, with more women on boards, that are higher performing corporations with more diversity, including Salesforce. We are growing to beyond leaps and bounds. Businesses can be in the business of doing good and you can definitely drive diversity and inclusion without sacrificing performance. As matter of fact, those who don’t are going to be the ones that are left behind to be quite honest with you.
This is part of the One-on-One Interview series with thought leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it's an audio or video interview, click on the embedded player above, or subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.