While women make up half of those employed in STEM jobs and demonstrate exceptional leadership and innovation capabilities, they’re still largely underrepresented in senior leadership — making up just one in four C-Suite positions.
I’m working to tackle this disparity. As the Director of TPIL Learning (Technology, People, Innovation, and Learning) at Salesforce, I provide personal and professional development programs for our Tech & Product teams, with a particular focus on women engineers. We’ve recently launched two new programs to build a more inclusive work environment:
- The Women’s Leadership Program builds foundational leadership skills for women managers in a self-directed, virtual setting. The course focuses on enhancing leadership skills, financial and business acumen, and network building — all critical for career advancement.
- The Leading Technology and Product Program supports technical and product leaders who possess foundational skills and are poised for senior roles. The program provides exclusive access to executives, who share their executive-level expertise and insights.
Both programs share a common goal: Empower technical and product leaders to enhance their leadership skills and advance their careers at Salesforce while building a strong community amongst underrepresented populations. Read on to explore five critical tips these programs impart — designed to help your productivity, career, and professional relationships reach the next level.
1. Stay True to Your Values
Sometimes, leaders must make tough decisions that may not be popular. By anchoring decisions in their personal values and Salesforce’s company values, leaders can rest assured that they made the best possible choice, given the available information.
2. Build Connections
Occasionally, teams may feel siloed, unaware of the powerful network within Salesforce’s expansive technology and product organization that can help them accomplish their goals.
Building connections can be transformative. Tapping into this internal network provides leaders with amazing access to a vast pool of professional experience, knowledge, and unique perspectives. Internal networking is the secret sauce to a fulfilling and advancing career at Salesforce — powering productivity, problem-solving, and innovation.
3. Leverage Strengths
While some leaders possess a deep sense of their strengths and efficiently leverage them for projects, others require guidance. The latter learn their strengths by receiving honest feedback, which may reveal some surprises about themselves in the process.
Ultimately, understanding strengths boosts confidence, enabling leaders to focus on areas where improvement is required to effectively support their team.
4. Deepen Your Understanding of Business, Financial, and Strategic Acumen
Technical and product leaders will need strong business and financial acumen as they progress in their careers. Women leaders must understand how their role directly supports the company in a variety of ways:
- How does it directly influence Salesforce’s financial performance and bottom line?
- How does it shape the customer experience?
- How does it support the broader business landscape?
By mapping and applying this knowledge to their work, leaders will enhance project success, setting the stage for long-term career growth.
Parker Harris shares his business insights during the Leading Technology and Product Program.
5. Strengthen Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence remains a key component for effective leadership, especially during challenging times. And women have an advantage; with women overall showing a stronger perception of emotion than men in the workplace.
Leaders equipped with emotional intelligence combine their self-awareness with knowing how to navigate relationships skillfully, enabling them to communicate with kindness and compassion while staying true to their values.
From owning your values to building connections to leveraging strengths and much more, women leaders are unlocking their potential while powering a more inclusive environment at Salesforce. Apply these proven strategies today and take your productivity, career, and relationships to greater heights.
- Hungry for more productivity tips? Check out this blog post, filled with 9 helpful strategies from our EVP of Software Engineering.
- Read this blog to meet 5 superstar women leaders who are driving engineering success at Salesforce.
- Stay connected — join our Talent Community!
- Check out our Technology and Product teams to learn how you can get involved.