Together with Salesforce, Future Female women gathered in Kamppi on 6th of June for the second last event before the summer holidays. The weather outside was already summery hot, but this didn’t slow down the enthusiasm for the topic “Women as Trailblazers”.

Trailblazer is defined by Wikipedia as “a person or persons who is paving the way in their particular field for future generations”. Salesforce as a company is known as a Trailblazer in its culture of empowerment and equality, and they strongly believe that business is the greatest platform for change.

In Finland, Salesforce cooperates e.g. with Saranen Consulting with a program called “Salesforce TrailBlazer Academy”. The goal of this 6-month program is to educate unemployed people with much sought-after Salesforce skills to employ them in the Salesforce partner and client companies, such as Sofigate, Fluido and Avaus Marketing Innovations. The results have been very positive and the goal is to continue this work to educate hundreds of new Trailblazers.

However, also Salesforce, as almost any tech company, is still male-dominant and finds difficult to find women to recruit. But the trend of hiring women is rising at least in Finland for Salesforce – also thanks to partnership with groups like Future Female. Also platforms like Trailhead, a self-paced learning platform for Salesforce modules available for anyone, decrease the barriers to attain the skills needed in getting started with the needed skills.

After a short introduction of Salesforce, it was time for the four panelists to share their personal experiences in the male-dominant tech environments.

Marika Kohonen and Tiia Tirkkonen

The panelists were:

Anna Sartjärvi – Salesforce Lead Consultant – Tieto
Elli Pennanen – Senior Solution Engineer – Salesforce
Marika Kohonen – Senior Account Executive – Salesforce
Tiia Tirkkonen – Product Manager & Team Lead –

Elli Pennanen and Anna Sartjärvi

The panelists were clear on encouraging all women to apply for tech companies. To work in the industry does not however mean that one needs to do programming – there are plenty of other possibilities available, as we found out. The job content of the panelists mostly concentrated in understanding the customer needs and providing the various Salesforce Clouds to support the cultural change going on in the customer organisations – which has very little to do with open SQL servers!

People skills are much needed also in the tech field, which provides a perfect opportunity for women to get into the business. Apparently it is also possible to find love within the Salesforce ecosystem, as we found out – one more reason for women to join tech! 😉

Photos by Maarit Halonen

Article by Sanna Haapaniemi