Salesforce plans to double its number of Black leaders in the US by 2023

Salesforce CEO Marc BenioffSalesforce
  • Salesforce plans to double the number of Black employees it has in leadership positions within the US, and increase overall representation of Black employees by 50% by the end of 2023.
  • Currently 1.5% of Salesforce's leadership team are Black or African American and 2.9% of employees across the company identify as Black or African American, so its goals equate to having 3% of its leadership team and 4.35% of its overall employees be Black.
  • Its part of a series of steps Salesforce announced to address racial equality and justice both inside and outside the company.
  • In addition, Salesforce made some outward facing commitments to support Black businesses and suppliers.

Salesforce is committing to double its number of Black employees in leadership positions within the US by the end of 2023, and increase overall representation of Black employees in the US by 50% by the end of 2023, the company announced Wednesday.

Currently only 1.5% of Salesforce's US leadership team — meaning, people at the VP level or above — are Black or African American, so the company's goal equates to getting that number to 3%. Across the company only 2.9% of Salesforce's US employees identify as Black or African American, which means its goal would be to increase that to about 4.35%. Salesforce has 49,000 total employees globally, with over 30,000 of them in the US.

These new commitments build on Salesforce's previous goal to making sure that by 2023 half of its US workforce is composed of people who identify as either women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Multiracial, LGBTQ+, veterans, or people with disabilities. Advertisement

The announcement come as part of a series of steps Salesforce is taking to address racial equality and justice both inside and outside the company. It comes as part of a widespread reckoning in the business world over systemic racism and racial injustice in the country, following protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black people killed by police. Microsoft made a similar commitment to increasing Black leadership in late June.

Last month Salesforce said it put together a task force of executives from its equality, recruiting, philanthropy, procurement and government affairs teams to look at what Salesforce could do to address racial justice and equality. Its announcement lays out a series of steps it will take to increase its representation of Black leaders and employees within the company.

It plans to add diversity recruiters to focus on hiring from underrepresented minority groups and launch a referral program specifically to recruit candidates from Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. It is also revamping its promotions process and will provide company-wide unconscious bias and equality training for all employees by the end of the year. Additionally, it will expand a leadership training program to provide more mentorship for Black employees from executives. Earlier this year Salesforce made Tony Prophet head of recruiting in addition to his existing role as chief equality officer.
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In addition, Salesforce made some outward facing commitments to support Black businesses and suppliers. The company said it will spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses over the next three years and increase spending with minority owned businesses by 25% each year. Through its venture capital arm, Salesforce Ventures, it is committing to investing $100 million into companies led by Black and underrepresented minority founders with the goal of tripling the total number of Black and underrepresented minority founders in its portfolio by the end of 2023.

Salesforce says it will also continue to evaluate how its technology is used. It previously came under criticism for its contract with US Customs and Border Patrol in 2018, and subsequently set up an ethical and humane use team that determines if Salesforce's technology is being used ethically and not to harm or racially discriminate. Do you work at Salesforce? Contact this reporter via email at pzaveri@businessinsider.com or Signal at 925-364-4258. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.Advertisement

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