Pipeline founder and CEO, Katica Roy, sat down recently for a Facebook live interview with Tony Prophet, Chief Equality Officer of Salesforce.
We launched our Voices for Equity series in 2017 with the goal of bringing more voices into the conversation around gender equity. It was the next generation of our initial social listening campaign, Fix the Leaky Pipeline, that we launched in August 2017. As an expansion of our Voices for Equity series, we recently embarked on the first of what will become an ongoing series of Friday Facebook Live interview sessions.
Tony was gracious enough to take time out of his schedule to answer a handful of questions surrounding the topics of diversity, inclusion, gender equality, and gender equity within business.
Mr. Prophet has an extensive background in business having worked as an executive for both Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. He joined the Salesforce ‘Ohana’ (family in Hawaiian) in 2016 as the company’s first Chief Equality Officer, and works closely with Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff.
Salesforce is known as a company encouraging of global efforts to support gender equality, within business. Speaking to USA Today in 2016 Tony said, “Marc has truly planted a flag that a corporation can be a force for good in society. And now he’s extending that by creating this smart platform for driving not just inclusion and diversity but driving equality.”
Speaking with Katica, Tony discussed a relatively recent shift in philosophy around the purpose of corporations; thinking beyond the bottom line and working to positively impact employees and stakeholders. This focus has been a component of the Salesforce business philosophy since the company’s inception 19 years ago, and continues to drive much of the operational philosophy of Salesforce today.
Many people think initiatives to achieve gender equality within business, are only successful when enacted from the executive level down. In our interview with Tony, Katica asked for his take on this commonly held business-belief. He agreed, transformation must be aligned and influenced at the highest level of a company, but pointed out; to be successful, initiatives around gender equality, and gender equity, require buy-in and collaboration at every level of a company.
When asked his opinion on what it will take for more companies to embrace gender equity initiatives and leverage this economic opportunity, Tony had this to say:
More companies are starting to engage in ‘equality audits’ to determine the effectiveness of their efforts to achieve gender equity. According to Tony, the most foundational component of an organization’s ability to transform is in equal pay.
Tony’s closing thoughts were both insightful and inspiring:
Katica and Pipeline would like to thank Tony Prophet and Salesforce for taking the time to chat—it was an honor.
Take some time to enjoy each clip of Katica’s interview with Tony Prophet, and join us on April 13th, for the next edition of Pipeline’s Friday Facebook Live chat, with Yolanda L. Chase, SHRM-SCP, CPM, CM Director, Global Work(place) Forward, Inclusion & Diversity, at Arrow Electronics.