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WITness Success Empowers Women to Excel in Salesforce Careers

By 08.29.23
Reading time: 4 minutes

WITness Success is a Women in Tech (WIT) event for the worldwide Salesforce ecosystem. The two-day event provides opportunities for attendees to learn, grow, get inspired, and set intentions while networking with others in the industry. The ultimate goal of WITness Success is to equip attendees to excel in their Salesforce careers, be role models, and mentor others so they can positively impact the tech industry.

The WIT Community puts on the WITness Success event. Since Dreamforce 2010, when the inaugural Girly Geeks meetup took place, the community of women working in the Salesforce ecosystem identifying as Salesforce Women in Tech has grown to 4,000+ members in the Success Community, with 50+ global user groups. 

Silverline joined the attendees at this year’s WITness Success event held on August 18-19 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read on to hear about this empowering event’s key learnings, insights, and takeaways.

WITness Success delivers valuable insights from sessions and speakers

WITness Success provided a wide range of impactful and meaningful sessions that spanned personal, professional, and technical development. The group setting allowed for a safe space for interactive conversations between speakers and attendees, adding a unique personal feel to the event. 

Guilda Hilaire, Senior Product Manager at Salesforce, delivered the inspiring opening keynote. Hilaire focuses on building out the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Community and leading Trailblazer community programs. She brings over 20 years of experience in marketing automation and told her heroic story of what it took for her as a Black woman to end up in a successful career at Salesforce. Her keynote also shared what she does in her daily life to be successful while maintaining a work/life balance.  

In the “I Said This…You Heard That” session, speaker Brittany Hart did a hands-on session where attendees learned an effective framework to improve their communication. The framework consists of four language styles: fun, power, harmony, and calm. Silverline attendees walked away with new perspectives on how to communicate better with others at work and in their personal lives. 

Hot button issues in the Salesforce ecosystem

The tech industry and the Salesforce ecosystem have made great strides in creating equal opportunities for women, but there is still a lot to be done, especially as we are seeing new issues evolve. Some important topics areas that need more attention and change were highlighted at WITness Success:

  • Ethical dilemmas in AI: The session “Tech for Good: AI’s Role in Uplifting Marginalized and Underserved Communities” certainly resonated with attendees. Speaker Jaye Cherenfant of Vista Tech Solutions LLC shared some of her personal journey and how AI can be used to drive positive change, break down barriers, and create opportunities for everyone. On the flip side, Cherenfant highlighted a story of a black woman in Detroit who was wrongfully arrested for a crime she did not do based on an automated facial recognition search by the Detroit Police Department. She spoke about how machines are fed data mostly from white males, which leaves a significant coded bias for predictive analytics, such as algorithms not knowing how to recognize all skin tones.
  • Pay transparency: Salaries should be more publicized to show pay discrepancies. Women and men with the same role and responsibilities should get paid around the same amount. This problem came up again and again in many conversations at WITness Success because it’s a challenge for women in tech to get paid what they deserve, especially when it’s known that in some companies, men doing the same job with the same title still make up to double what women do. Women also face hardships entering the workforce as they often don’t know how or even that they need to negotiate their salaries and speak up for themselves during reviews and promotion periods.
  • Microaggressions: A microaggression is a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against a marginalized group, such as a racial or ethnic minority. Examples in the workplace could be male leaders or stakeholders not ‘hearing’ women or women being dismissed when they provide inputs to discussions and decisions. It is still challenging for women to have a seat at the table. They are often overlooked for promotions or will likely be handed tasks that fall into the non-promotable skills (NPS) category. In the “Microaggressions as a Women in the Workplace” session, Shahida Robertson-Davis, Senior Consultant, Slalom, shared ways to navigate microaggressions and tips to combat them in the workplace.

Making long-lasting connections at WITness Success

Networking with fellow attendees is a critical element of WITness Success so that we can help each other advance our careers in the industry by making introductions to employers or sharing potential opportunities. Many attendees walked away feeling like they were not alone with their challenging experiences and felt encouraged by others to continue to speak up and advocate.  

The vast diversity of attendees helped to broaden perspectives among attendees. They all share the common thread of being women in tech but come from different backgrounds, ages, and are at various stages of their careers. 

For example, microaggressions sometimes arise with young women entering the workforce. They are often viewed as immature and need more experience before they can succeed in their career. Success is often viewed as running yourself into the ground until you become exhausted and burnt out. But by supporting each other at events like WITness Success, women can help advise the next wave of women workers that this mindset is unnecessary to succeed in the tech world.

At Silverline, we pride ourselves on striving for an unparalleled experience for all our employees. Silverline is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture that brings our employees together to build a connected and innovative company where everyone feels they belong. 

Find out how Silverline is creating rewarding experiences for our team, our clients, and the world we live in.

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