Salesforce EMEA chief on diversity, CEO values, staff wellbeing

Chris Ciauri, Salesforce.com EVP and GM, discusses how the company acts "to create psychological safety" for its people

Diversity and the way companies encourage and support people of all kinds to do their best work is an issue that, quite rightly (and belatedly, perhaps) is very much in the news, both in the technology sector and everywhere else.

Last year I was approached by a PR agency working for Salesforce.com to talk to Chris Ciauri, Executive Vice President and General Manager EMEA, about how the cloud giant looks at these complex and nuanced issues. I was interested, given the company has generally been a leader in transparency. Eventually, we agreed to an email exchange that led to this article.

Not all my proposed questions were answered and these included areas including ensuring workplaces are respectful of women and free of harassment, the need to increase the number of underrepresented minorities from the current figure of about 10 per cent at Salesforce, ethical investments and countries where firms trade, and appropriate corporate taxation.

But most questions were answered in detail and in a way I found quite impressive, given the sensitivities around the topics. The following is a very lightly edited version of our dialogue.

 

Salesforce helped to popularise the notion of technology firms giving back to communities through dedications, paid volunteering, pro bono work and so on. Do you have hard numbers for this aspect of the company? I'm thinking about how many staff participate in such schemes, how many hours they commit, how the company scores its progress etc?

Salesforce was started with a vision to be a different kind of company. Our founders made a commitment we call the 1-1-1 model: giving 1% of our time, product and profit back to the community. It's become a fundamental part of our company DNA and created a culture that attracts people who are passionate about philanthropy. I think it brings out the best in us all. Salesforce has given over three million volunteer hours to date, more than $220m in grants and there are over 36,000 non-profit organisations using our technology today.

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