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My name is Galadrielle Heinrich and I joined Salesforce as a Renewals Manager back in May 2017. In Salesforce every employee is inspired, myself included, to become a trailblazer for positive change and to truly make a difference in their own communities. Equality starts with our Ohana, which means family in the extended sense of the term in Hawaiian. One of the many ways we champion Equality in Salesforce is through our Ohana Groups, one of them being the Salesforce Women’s Network (SWN).

I am a woman and a great supporter of woman empowerment. As per definition, women empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling our own life and claiming our own rights. For as long as I can remember I have been called ‘A Feminist’, probably because I have always dared to speak up and use my voice to defend those who couldn’t speak, in particular women & girls. I cannot say if that nickname is a positive one. What I know is that I want to see more fairness of treatment and equality between genders.

Salesforce is such an incredible Champion for Equality in the workplace, I wanted to really contribute to our company culture. In November 2018, I added a philanthropic aspect to my daily job by becoming the Leader of the SWN in Dublin, and later the Global VP of the SWN in EMEA. The SWN is an inclusive and active community of women and allies. Our allies are all the employees who support women’s rights. Our catchphrase is ‘you don’t have to be a woman to join the Women’s Network!’

On International Women’s Day 2019, the SWN welcomed Joan Freeman, Founder of Pieta House, to our Dublin office for an inspiring speech. On the same day, we also welcomed a group of 100 girls aged 12 to 16 years old from St Dominics for a workshop about the importance of celebrating women and supporting each other. In 2019, the SWN will host a total of 25 events in Dublin that will tackle topics about personal and professional development, as well as raise awareness about gender equality and how to bring positive change in the workplace.

On Wednesday 13th March 2019, I attended the 2nd edition of the Technology Playmaker of the year 2019 organized by Booking.com in London. Every year, this award ceremony aims to celebrate and recognize women – at all stages of their career – who are disrupting and transforming businesses, industries, and communities with technology. This year nominations were received from over 66 countries and this year’s finalists represented no less than 20 countries!

I was very honored to receive an invitation from Coral Movasseli, Managing Director of Girls in Tech Dublin, to celebrate together her nomination for the Community Impact Award and to be part of such a wonderful crowd of inspiring Women in Tech. Coral’s initiatives and passion is positively shaping up the future of girls & women. For that I would like to applaud her!

As I sat there, surrounded by so many powerful women from all over the world, I felt very grateful to be part of this celebration, very proud of to be a woman, and – I have to admit – intimidated too. Every story was inspiring, every initiative was mind-blowing, every nominee was worthy of winning. It was the first time that I was exposed to a room full of women who had the same mission. As Maya Angelou said ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style’. The feeling of Sisterhood was very strong during this award ceremony and that is everything I could have hoped for. It is important that we keep supporting and recognizing each other’s work, for this is the only way we can hold the Equality card up. Until one day the mindset changes and this Equality card is no longer needed.

I am a woman working in Tech in the 21st century. I know this may seem trivial, but when I look back to how how far we have come, this is a fantastic achievement which should be celebrated. I believe that organizations such as Girls in Tech create a platform that should be used to inspire appreciation, respect, and love towards women in tech. This is one of the many ways we can salute the political, social, & economic achievements of women and bring positive change in our communities. Girls in Tech is a great example of an inclusive and active community of women & supporters of women’s rights. It encourages women empowerment in tech with the purpose to achieve balance for a better life and gender equality.

I heard from Girls in Tech through a male colleague of mine in Salesforce who attends their events regularly. As I was planning the relaunch of the SWN in Dublin, he suggested that I got in touch with Coral, which I did. I invited her to be on the panel of speakers for the relaunch and we became friends since. We are currently discussing the possibility to organize future events together. I think it is a wonderful thing to connect with other women’s networks and support each other’s initiatives. We work together for the same cause after all!

Written by Galadrielle Heinrich March 2019.