Interesting that a story that talks about equality starts by referencing Tony Prophet, The Other CEO (Chief Equality Officer) at Salesforces colour, age, looks. As relevant as it might be to the bigger picture it is clear from the stats (Salesforce employs almost 70 per cent men and in leadership positions that proportion shoots up to over 80 per cent) Tony has his work cut out as he looks to drive equality across Salesforce and hopefully influence the tech sector as a whole.
It is clear diversity and inclusion is a topic that is keeping CEO’s awake at night, in Deliotte’s Global Human Capital trends 2017 report the topic is highlighted as an issue around the globe and a challenge and frustration not just for the tech sector. Interestingly in the report it talks about this issue now not being assigned to the Chief Equality Officer but falling under the remit of the actual CEO, so perhaps Salesforce still have some work to do.
Two things the article and report have in common is the word transparency. Transparency is seen as a major influencer in making companies accountable and in turn driving processes, training and education around unconscious bias.
As a parent who looks to their 13 year old for advice on most tech related topics, I think one of the biggest diversity challenges the tech sector will have to address is that of age. How do you bridge generation gaps where the skills weren’t even taught and the applications didn’t exist even 5 years ago?!
Yes, diversity is essential, but equality goes further – it extends beyond the workforce into the wider communities in which businesses operate. As tech companies continue to expand at a breakneck pace, hiring young, talented and pliable minds, and exerting immeasurable global influence, there’s a case to be made that Prophet’s appointment happened not a minute too soon.