Musidora Jorgensen

Inspirational Woman: Musidora Jorgensen | Area Vice President, Head of UK Energy & Utilities, Salesforce

Musidora JorgensenMusidora is Area Vice President and Head of UK Energy & Utilities at Salesforce.

This sees her working with customers to digitally transform their businesses to gain greater insights into their own customers. She has been selling and leading teams within the IT industry for over 20 years, both within the UK Enterprise Private and Public sectors. Musidora is passionate about supporting more women in the STEM industries and is an active mentor, coach and sponsor for women in sales. She won the Best Sales Mentor category at the EMEA Women in Sales Awards 2018, as well as being recognised as one of the Yahoo Finance HERoes top 100 Female Future Leaders 2020 and one of the 50 Kindness & Leadership Leading Lights 2020.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I had great advice when thinking about a career and what to study at university, which was to choose something I was interested in rather than something I thought I should be doing. I have always had a real interest in people and what make us who we are, so I studied psychology. I learnt about the science of people and a serendipitous meeting introduced me to sales where I get to work with people every day and use my degree in a different way.

Today, I am Area Vice President and Head of UK Energy & Utilities at Salesforce. I work with customers to digitally transform their businesses to gain greater insights into their customers. I have worked in the IT industry for over 20 years.

I am passionate about promoting gender diversity and encouraging women into STEM. I am an ally and speaker for the Salesforce Women’s Network and part of our internal group focused on more inclusive hiring. I am regularly involved in initiatives to support women in their careers and I’m proud to have spoken at the House of Commons as part of the Gamechangers Women’s Network.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I would love to say I have a grand master plan but that hasn’t ever been the case. In my experience, planning too far ahead means you can miss out on unforeseen opportunities. I sit down and look at what I want to achieve from my current role; the impact I want to make, what I can learn and how I can help others and then think about how that can lead to the next step.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

I’ve certainly experienced sexism, unfair pay and bullying in my past but this hasn’t swayed me. Sometimes challenging experiences encourage you to find alternative pathways and help you become stronger in the long-run. Working in a male-dominated environment has made me passionate about addressing the imbalance within STEM.

If you feel like something is off, you are probably right. I always encourage people to seek help and council from others.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Structuring big transformational deals with customers has always been exciting but I have also found it rewarding moving into a leadership role and being able to help others to be successful. It makes me incredibly proud to see my team come together with a common purpose to deliver customer success. One enjoyable aspect of being a leader is unlocking the potential in others, building their confidence and watching them thrive.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I have had great mentors throughout my career, and it’s encouraged me to mentor and support others externally and internally. One of the big elements of diversity and inclusion is ensuring that there are visible role models people can aspire to be like. That’s a big lever — you can’t be what you can’t see.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Three big things have helped me handle career challenges and succeed:

  1. Having a growth mindset; being curious, asking questions and learning. We never know everything and learning is a continuous journey we should be driving on a daily basis.
  2. Working hard and getting involved; there is no place for ego; equality and trust are core values and everyone must contribute.
  3. Staying positive; this can be tough in sales when you are not selling or hitting targets but without having a positive attitude you’ll fail fast.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

We still have a long way to go before technology companies become truly diverse and inclusive in terms of gender. Many women think they are barred from technology because they have no formal digital education but that is not true.

Business leaders can do more to support that challenge by promoting female careers in tech as a platform for progression, for learning, for enjoyment, and by executing programmes that tackle institutional barriers.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

Equality is one of Salesforce’s core values at Salesforce. We regularly assess our representation to close the gap in female hires and leadership, and are committed to equal pay and introducing gender equality programmes to support women develop their careers.

Post-pandemic many companies are at risk of creating a two-speed work environment — with men at the office and women at home, juggling work and childcare. Salesforce provides financial support to primary caregivers to ensure equal opportunities. Trailhead, our online learning tool, revolutionises the path to female digital employment and can take someone from a low level of technical knowledge into Salesforce roles in as little as six months.

Increasing the participation of women in the tech workforce is one of the biggest opportunities we have to solve the skills problem. Research has shown that companies that invest in equality — such as diversity programs and equal pay — and lead with values have a competitive advantage.

There are currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Unconscious bias is holding the industry back. It needs to be addressed if we are going to solve this issue. Last year, we launched an all-manager training that includes bias awareness and a new process to ensure our promotions process is fair, consistent and accessible. These principles are also key during the hiring process.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

The best thing you can do is talk to people, be curious, listen to podcasts, join organisations and attend events. There are great resources on LinkedIn and some inspiring women you can learn from like Dame Stephanie Shirley, one of my role models, who started the first software company and was a trailblazer in tapping into the female job market and creating opportunities for women of all ages and backgrounds.

Be brave and ask questions because, in my experience, people are happy to help.


Supermums launch new campaign to help mothers bounce back from the pandemic

MumsSkillUp Campaign, SuperMums

Supermums has launched new campaign – #MumsSkillUp – to help mothers bounce back from the pandemic.

Women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis than men’s jobs. During the pandemic women have been disportionally effected by job losses and increasing pressure within relationships which has increased the divorce rate and the need for financial independence.

That’s why, during October, Supermums is on a mission to mobilise a global community to help women get back on track across the world, financially, economically and emotionally.

The campaign will help to shine a light on the career opportunities that exist for women (and beyond) that can give them flexible, well paid, resilient careers and financial independence. They will also be sharing positive new stories and sharing educational stories and information to help mums bounce back.

Supermums was founded on a mission to help mums secure a flexible well paid resilient career. The idea originated from our founder Heather Black when she personally experienced the trauma of losing a business and career when new economic and political changes were imposed beyond her control in 2011 which proved to be a turning point in her life. She had to find a way to bounce back and to launch a new career path.

This led Heather to completely change career and retrain as a Salesforce Consultant were she was earning £5k ($10k) a month working part time remotely. She felt that if she could do it then others could do to and she launched Supermums to spread the word in Nov 2016. Fastforward to now she has helped nearly 500 upskill and retrain across 9 different countries.

Speaking about the campaign, Heather Black, Founder, Supermums said, ”I was just about to start a family, we wanted to move out of the city, I didn’t know anything about working in the tech space.”

“I didn’t even know what a CRM was for many years until someone spent the time showing me but then my eyes were opened to a whole new world!”

“I started using a CRM for my business and saw it’s value first hand to improve processes and reporting.”

“I decided I wanted to learn more and consider CRM consultancy as a career choice.”

“Fast forward to now and I’ve got a financially rewarding career that gives me financial independence and stability as a single parent.“

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Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2021

Salesforce, Google, Apple & Microsoft among the best places to work in 2021

Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2021

Salesforce, Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are among the best places to work, according to Glassdoor.

Glassdoor, the worldwide leader on insights about jobs and companies, has announced the winners of its 13th annual Employees’ Choice Awards, honouring the Best Places to Work in 2021 across the UK and four other countries. Unlike other workplace awards, the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards are based on the input of employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback by completing a company review about their job, work environment and employer over the past year.

The Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards highlight Best Places to Work across the UK, France, Germany the U.S. and Canada. Winners are ranked based on their overall rating achieved during the past year.

The top ten Best Places to Work in 2021 for the UK are:

  1. Salesforce (4.5 rating)
  2. Microsoft (4.4 rating)
  3. Abcam (4.4 rating)
  4. Google (4.4 rating)
  5. Softcat (4.4 rating)
  6. GTB (4.4 rating)
  7. Apple (4.3 rating)
  8. Bella Italia (4.3 rating)
  9. SAP (4.3 rating)
  10. Facebook (4.3 rating)

Speaking about the awards, Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor chief executive officer, said, "COVID-19 is in the driver’s seat and every employer has been impacted. This year’s winning employers have proven, according to employees, that even during extraordinary times, they’ll rise to the challenge to support their people.”

“A mission-driven culture, transparent leadership and career opportunities are always hallmarks of Best Places to Work winners."

"This year, we also see exceptional employers who have prioritised the health, safety and well-being of their employees."

"My congratulations go to all of this year’s outstanding Employees’ Choice Award winners.”

Glassdoor’s 50 Best Places to Work (UK) in 2021 list features winning employers across a range of industries, including technology, finance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, insurance, food and more. Notably, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there are four restaurant employers on this year’s list, with three of those also appearing on last year’s list, including Bella Italia, Nando’s and wagamama. Google is one of only two employers to make the UK list every year since launch, the other being J.P. Morgan.

Nineteen employers are newcomers to the UK large list in 2021, including Sage, Majestic Wine, Just  Eat and The Body Shop. Seven employers are rejoining the list in 2021, including Sky Betting & Gaming, Arm and Waitrose & Partners.

Salesforce is the only employer to appear on all five lists - US, Canada, UK, France, Germany).

When employees submit reviews about their employer on Glassdoor, they are asked to share their opinions on some of the best reasons to work for their employer (pros), any downsides (cons) and are encouraged to provide advice to management. In addition, employees are asked to rate how satisfied they are with their employer overall, rate their CEO as well as rate key workplace attributes like career opportunities, compensation and benefits, work-life balance, senior management and culture and values. Employees are also asked whether they would recommend their employer to a friend and whether they believe their employer’s six-month business outlook is positive, negative or if they have no opinion.


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Kristy Merson

Kristy Merson | Salesforce

Kristy Merson

Kristy Merson is a Solution Engineering Manager at Salesforce and President of the UK Salesforce Women’s Network.

Having taken an unconventional path in her own career, Kristy is a firm believer that to build a diverse pool of future leaders, we need to seek out the qualities in people that will make them successful. She is passionate about women’s employability and the huge impact that even the smallest of actions can have on someone’s life, which is why she actively supports organisations such as SmartWorks and STEMettes.

Her journey in tech began in 2007 when as head of a regional business for a global company, she was approached by her Global COO to take part in the steering committee for a new technology solution to be rolled out to their 50+ offices. So impressed with the impact of this solution, she self-taught, certified and went on to own this technology for the company and subsequently for others.

Joining Salesforce in 2016, her current role sees her partnering with some of the most exciting businesses in the UK, across a variety of industries, and helping to design solutions that enable them to better connect with their customers.


Gaza Sky Geeks soldier through power cuts for startup glory

 

Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff has become the latest tech leader to put his weight behind a Gaza based startup accelerator, initially launched to encourage more women to found their own companies.
Gaza Sky Geeks

The Palestinian technology accelerator, Gaza Sky Geeks, is raising money for a generator to extend its now co-working hours to evenings and weekends.

With electricity only made available for 12 hours a day before battery life is required, and frequent power cuts, the accelerator is struggling to further its working hours without a generator.

The campaign originally set the target of $95,000, which has been exceeded.

A new target of $400,000 has been set, with the additional funds being set aside to support the hub through the launch of a new coding academy, the creation of 22 internships for Gazans in European and US tech firms and for the training of high schGaza Sky Geeksool girls in coding.

Benioff joined a list of tech luminaries who aim to match dollar for dollar, any donations to the #PowerUpGazaGeeks crowdfunding campaign.

Said Hassan, GSG’s manager and a startup founder said the area is “facing the worst energy crisis we’ve had in Gaza, with some homes getting as little as four hours of electricity each day.”

“Gazans are smart people working on ideas for companies,” said Dave McClure, founding partner of 500 Startups and an advisory board member for GSG.

“They deserve support and investment just like any other startup founder anywhere else in the world. To some extent, they have even more hustle because they’re working in such a tough environment.”

Entrepreneurial Gazan women have been flocking to the tech startup sceneGaza Sky Geeks since 2011, when Gaza Sky Geeks launched with a grant from Google.org after the company realised the technology opportunity in the area.

Gaza Sky Geeks is run by Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian organisation.

Since launching in 1979, Mercy Corps has helped more than 170 million people survive emergencies and rebuild their lives.

Gaza Sky Geeks is the only startup accelerator in the Gaza Strip, with the mission of transforming the country’s youth into technology business leaders.

The accelerator encourages entrepreneurial spirit though events, trips outside of Gaza and networks connecting startups to investors and mentors.

Gaza Sky Geeks
Gaza Sky Geeks working through a power cut

Originally designed to increase the number of Gazan women who successfully found a startup, Gaza Sky Geeks was launched to make sure female pioneers can connect with each other.

With a population of 1.7 million, in a space of 25 miles by five miles, 99% of Gazans have literacy skills and are known for being technically apt, despite only receiving electricity 12 hours a day.

Over 50% of the population in Gaza is under the age of 18 and with unemployment rates at 43%, both men and women are encouraged to find work with many girls choosing to study STEM based subjects. The internet in Gaza is said to be of higher quality than in some of its neighbouring countries. For many residents broadband is the only connection to the outside world, with Twitter being used as a way to keep up on which areas are safe and which are not.

Due to Gaza’s closed borders a private sector has been difficult to develop, which tends to affect Gazan entrepreneurs ideas. Closed borders and tGaza Sky Geekshe threat of conflict means most are focusing their ideas on software for consumers rather than hardware development and enterprise sales.

Also joining the campaign this week is Lean Startups author and guru Eric Ries. Existing backers include Paul Graham (YC), Brad Feld (Techstars), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Fadi Ghandour, Samih Toukan, the Skoll Foundation, Freada Kapor Klein and others.


Salesforce increases diversity through education and development of young people and returners

Salesforce is focusing its efforts on education and developing young people and returners to increase diversity within the technology sector, says Charlotte Finn, Vice President, Programs-EMEA at Salesforce.org.

Speaking to WeAreTheCity at the Salesforce World Tour 2016, which took place recently at the London Excel Centre, Finn said: “Salesforce has been focusing on workforce development and education.”Salesforce logo - increasing diversity

“We have been bringing kids into Salesforce tower to experience what working in technology is like and also we have invited the unemployed and those that wish to return to work after a break. Unemployed candidates and returners are being encouraged through Salesforce’s Trailhead path, which is a training course for developers to learn Salesforce at all levels.

“It’s about reminding them of the confidence and getting the Salesforce staff to tell them what’s possible,” Finn added.

“When they come in they get to meet all levels of Salesforce staff including the likes of Andy Lawson, SVP and UK Country Leader at Salesforce, to encourage them to believe that they can do it.”

Finn said there is not a shortage of volunteers at Salesforce willing to sign up for opportunities to support people visiting the Salesforce tower or taking part in programmes that the company supports.

“We have had a 85% take up rate for volunteering which has equated to 500,000 hours globally so far this year. Last year in June we celebrated one million hours of volunteering since the programme’s inception which was 15 years ago,” Finn added.

Salesforce employees have the flexibility to decide when, where and for what cause they volunteer. Employees receive seven days of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) per fiscal year a $1,000 Champion Grant to donate to the nonprofit of their choice once they reach seven days of VTO and access to Team Grants to support employee volunteer activities.

“Volunteers offer a range of skills such as interviewing and mentoring or they support not-for-profits who can’t afford an IT department by offering their expertise. There is a retention correlation of best places to work and opportunities to volunteer. Six out of ten millennials say they want to work for an organisation with a purpose and you are 2.3 times more like to retain an employee that feels engaged.”


Blendoor app aims to take unconscious biasness out of tech recruitment

A blind-recruitment mobile app called Blendoor has launched in a bid to tackle gender and minority imbalances across the tech sector.

Unveiled by CEO and founder Stephanie Lampkin, during Salesforce’s Dreamforce show in San Francisco this week, the app aims to address unconscious biasness within the tech sector’s recruitment process.Multi-ethnic business people in office

The app hides the applicant’s name and photo, to ensure any biasness is removed from the early stage of the recruitment process, and that candidates are selected on skills. The aim is to conceal the applicant’s school, orientation or gender in the early stages of the application process.

Through a series of swipes recruiters can screen potential candidates and job seekers can search through job opportunities. When there is a match between skills required and the candidate’s interest the app enables the recruitment process to move forward. The app is integrated with LinkedIN and Facebook.

The app will also recommend career development opportunities, such as courses and events of interest, to candidates based on their behaviours.

According to Lampkin the app was developed as a response to her own challenges faced working in IT. During her Dreamforce presentation she highlighted that 91% of tech sector workers are white or Asian and 75% of them are male. She noted that Google has 55,000 engineers but only 12 are African American women.

Lampkin has a technical background herself having learnt to code from the age of 13. She went on to study an engineering degree at Stanford University followed by an MBA from MIT. She has worked at several technology companies including Microsoft.

For the first time the Dreamforce conference has dedicated an entire day to women in technology, where CEO Marc Benioff and founder Parker Harris will discuss Salesforce’s efforts around diversity. Talks will also take place from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and actress and business owner Jessica Alba.