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For the first time, we’ve been named one of the Best Places to Work for Women in Argentina by Great Place to Work®. As the President of Salesforce Women’s Network in Argentina I’m incredibly proud of this honor, but I know that there is still much work to be done to create an equal workplace for all.

The United Nations set up 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which many companies, including Salesforce, have adopted as guiding posts. One of them is gender equality. Currently, there is no nation on track to meet the goal by 2030. The World Economic Forum (WEF) released the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 in which they estimate it will take 99.5 years to close the gender gap. Given that Latin America is the second highest ranking region in the 2019 SDG Gender Index it’s evident that our path forward will take a great deal of time and effort. Regardless of current forecasting, I’m still optimistic for the future of gender equality across Latin America because I work for an employer that is committed to creating a more equal and inclusive world for all.

This is my story.

Soon after Salesforce acquired MuleSoft in 2018, Salesforce co-Founder Parker Harris flew down to Buenos Aires for our official Becoming Salesforce welcome event. During his visit Parker specifically asked to meet with some of the female engineers. Upon our arrival he asked how many of us there were, why were there so few of us, and offered his support to help change our lack of representation. We ended up having a lengthy and productive conversation about female leadership and representation within Salesforce.

From L-R: Camila Souza, Melina Rochi, Eleonora Paz, Parker Harris, Camila Holik, and Stefani Bello
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I remember leaving that meeting and thinking, “Wow our leadership is really invested in their female employees.”

Years ago it was common for me to be an anomaly as one of three female engineers at MuleSoft. Fast forward to present day and I’m no longer just one of three. Today, I’m surrounded by tremendously talented and smart female colleagues representing all parts of the business. Yes, there’s been progress but we still have room for improvement. It’s my hope that the concerted efforts made to prioritize Equality will decrease the gender disparity and create a workplace where women want to work.

It’s an ongoing journey and there is still more work to be done to create an equal workplace for all. However, we’re encouraged by the progress we’ve made in five key areas.

#1 Amplifying women’s voices

It’s deeply satisfying to work at an organization that’s committed to amplifying women’s voices through public and large-scale events showcasing the importance of women in technology. In celebration and honor of Women’s Month in March, Salesforce hosted our second-annual Trailblazing Women Summit. The summit elevated women who have used their platform to spark change in politics, business, media, board rooms, and sports. This was an important opportunity to empower the current and next generation of women leaders and give allies the perspective and tools to help build a more equal world.

From L-R: Ana Felisatti, Melina Rochi, Consuelo López, Jimena Pestalardo, Marina Elduayen

#2 Supporting one another through Salesforce Women’s Network (SWN)

We recently relaunched our SWN Argentina chapter in February 2020. The Women’s Network is Salesforce’s oldest and one of the largest Equality Groups! Founded in 2008, the Salesforce Women’s Network now has over 6,000 global members working toward gender equality in the workplace and beyond. The vision of the Salesforce Women’s Network is to build a global women’s network to invest, support and empower both members and allies. Our chapter is extremely passionate about highlighting potential career opportunities within the realm of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to young female students. For the past four years, we’ve hosted several ongoing events but two annual events close to my heart, include Chicas Líderes and Programming a Better World in partnership with Chicas en Tecnología, a NGO that seeks to close the gender gap in technology and entrepreneurship.

From L-R: Ana Felisatti, Melina Rochi, Consuelo López, Jimena Pestalardo, Marina Elduayen

#3 Providing benefits that matter

I just returned back from a six-month parental leave a few weeks ago and the time away highlighted the amount of support mothers (and parents in general) receive from Salesforce during this special time. All employees receive 26 weeks of parental leave — regardless of gender — to spend time bonding with their new children and get the hang of life as a parent. I was able to step away, recharge and enjoy time with my children, all while knowing my job was safe and there for me when I was ready to return. While on parental leave, I received some amazing news from my manager — I got promoted to Director of Engineering! I’m happy that I am able to have open and honest conversations with my manager about expanding my family and it’s comforting to know I’m not penalized for taking time away to be a mom.

#4 Compensating us fairly

Argentina has the seventh-highest gender pay gap in Latin America. Acknowledging and confronting pay inequality has been an uphill battle for women in this country. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that here. Since 2015, Salesforce has committed to equal pay for equal work; the company has evaluated pay on an ongoing basis to address any gaps among gender and race. As a result, we’ve spent more than $12 million to date to ensure our global workforce is paid fairly.

#5 Mentoring female leaders

When I first started, we didn’t have a lot of senior female leaders to ask for advice, but times have changed. As I’ve grown my career here I’ve been very intentional about making sure I’m able to be a mentor. I’ve found great joy in mentoring a brilliant Engineering Manager in Buenos Aires during her transition into a leadership role. I believe the mentor/mentee relationship is important and it’s a learning opportunity for both parties.

I’m proud of the progress we’ve made thus far and I’m energized about our path ahead. It’s my hope that everyone gets to work for an organization where they feel as seen, heard, and valued as we do here. I’m excited to work at Salesforce, named one of the Best Places to Work for Women in Argentina.