By Aarica Smith
Inclusion at Cloud for Good
Inclusion is just one of the six core values that guide Cloud for Good’s culture and interactions with our customers. Our employees, or Goodies, come from diverse backgrounds and experiences which helps us value the viewpoints and skills of each individual and work to help each other grow, build genuine relationships with those of differing viewpoints, and value their unique perspectives and contributions. We have gender equality and always have. It might be new for other companies, but it’s not for us, it’s simply part of our DNA.
With International Women’s Day celebrated last Sunday and Women’s History Month recognized throughout March, we want to recognize, thank, and celebrate the talented, capable, and fearless women who work at Cloud for Good.
Women in Technology
Embracing diversity, recognizing the importance of representation, and rejecting the archaic limitations of gender roles allows all generations of women to be themselves, encourage their growth, and provides them with an enriching environment to prosper. Where women were once societally restricted to a set path, now they have the CHOICE to pursue the life they want, whether that life is spent raising a family, cultivating a career or both.
Many women spend as much time at work, in many cases much MORE time, than they do at home. For those women with aspirations of breaking into the tech world, they seek an industry where they can feel valued and true to those aspirations; a place to see fellow women in leadership roles and understand their possibilities are no longer limited by societal convention.
Historically speaking, both the tech and consulting industries have proven difficult for women to enter and thrive within. Time and time again, however, we’re seeing women take control of their careers within these industries, breaking down barriers in the process. Women all around the world are grabbing hold of their career destinies through stepping up to the plate, standing up to the nay-sayers, and making a historic impact on the world of technology.
Cloud for Good is leading the way for female innovators within the Salesforce ecosystem for these very reasons. Founded in 2010, Cloud for Good quickly established itself as both a leading Salesforce implementation consulting firm serving higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations, as well as a company actively investing in female success within the Salesforce ecosystem and the tech industry at large. As a huge proponent toward investing in the future of women in technology, Cloud for Good has supported women in tech conferences, through sponsorship and mindful recruiting. Hiring based on an individual’s talent, not their gender, race, religious affiliation, or location, has been and always will be a priority at Cloud for Good. In fact, at the time of this writing, nearly half of the entire leadership team, and the entirety of our coding team, at the company are made up of women.
From the executives to the marketing, professional services, people, and ops – all departments at Cloud for Good are filled with dynamic, passionate women helping our clients do more good together across all aspects of the company. We had the pleasure of speaking with a few of these female Goodie rockstars for the interest of this piece.
Meet Some of the Fearless Females at Cloud for Good
Kat Luker has established herself as a major player in the Salesforce technology space, even if her journey getting to that place featured a few twists and turns along the way. Like many women seeking to break into an industry that many falsely perceive to be male-dominated, Kat became an unfortunate subject of discouragement and disheartening commentary before she even launched her career. Kat elaborates in a recent interview, “During my time at college, while pursuing a Computer Science degree, many of the educators were not as progressive or as encouraging as you would hope. My mom was so pivotal during this time, as she really pushed me through the negativity and helped me focus on my education.” After college, Kat joined a local nonprofit as their dedicated developer, thus allowing her to quickly fall back into her early aspirations. “Before I joined Cloud for Good, I was fortunate to work for a company that reconnected me with what I loved most about programming and solving complex problems.”
Once she was ready for the next step, Kat joined Cloud for Good in October of 2018 eager to utilize her superpowers to help multiple nonprofits at a time and was immediately empowered to do just that. When the company acknowledged that there was a need for a new department centered solely around development, Kat was able to start something brand new and tailor her environment around her skillset. Kat elaborates, “I wasn’t hired on as a developer, but I became the company’s first developer once the new department was formed. Cloud for Good allowed me to help carve my own path and follow where I was naturally inclined to go. I think if you are a female looking to start a technical career within the technology industry, Cloud for Good is a great place where you will not only be welcomed, you’ll be supported, challenged, and championed.”
Lyndi Weener-Kuiper’s path to becoming a Cloud for Good developer came as a bit of a surprise after majoring in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies during college. While volunteering with Americorps after classes, Lyndi was given the opportunity to lead a website redesign effort for a local nonprofit organization and collaborate with their developers. Lyndi reminisces, “Watching what the developer team was working on sparked my interest. I loved our collaboration and I wanted to learn more. I made it a New Year’s resolution to learn code shortly after that experience. Had I been exposed to coding at a younger age, I would have known immediately that it was a great fit for me. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t on my radar. I’m glad that now there are programs helping introduce young girls to coding and teaching them how fun and empowering it can be.”
Lyndi’s eye-opening experience would soon lead her to follow her newfound inspiration and pursue a career down this new path. “When I first heard about Cloud for Good, I remember going to the website and seeing a lot of women on the team in leadership roles. This appealed to me because if I can look at someone further along in their career, and know they look like me, it becomes easier for me to visualize what I can do next, what the next step is. It helps me to see that there is a space for me here as I grow in my career.”
Serving as Cloud for Good’s dedicated Partner Alliance Manager, Kristin Kiester knows a thing or two about the importance of flexibility. “Cloud for Good should receive credit for giving people the opportunity to succeed both in their career and in their personal lives,” Kristin reiterates, “Flexibility is a huge reason why I’m here. I might not be able to have the same role at another company.” As a completely virtual organization, Cloud for Good allows all employees, women, and men alike, the benefits of working from the comfort of their own home and affords them the freedom to balance both aspects of their lives.
With this freedom comes the ability for women, if they so choose, to spend more time raising a family while also nurturing their career. The culture of virtual work features many inherent advantages that are simply not achievable in the more traditional non-virtual work environment. Once upon a time, women were put in a box relegated to one, universal way of life with few options or outlets in which to progress their own aspirations. That time has passed, and not a moment too soon. We’re in the midst of a new era focused on female empowerment, and Cloud for Good is committed to being on the frontlines of that movement.
Diversity & Inclusion Makes Us the Best Team Ever
Lucky for us, brilliant, inspiring women like Kat, Lyndi, and Kristin made the choice to join Cloud for Good’s #BestTeamEver. The leadership team at Cloud for Good is perennially invested in the growth of our employees, no matter their gender or company role, supporting opportunities for professional development along every step of the way.
We always boast about Cloud for Good being voted a Great Place to Work (6 years in a row since 2014), but we are most proud of having the #BestTeamEver. Our team is comprised of skilled problem solvers with diverse opinions, educators and leaders that help all those around them find the opportunities they need to grow in their roles and develop their careers. Cloud for Good understands the importance of inclusion and we strive to hold ourselves to that importance through all aspects of our company culture.
We’re always looking for more talented, smart, and driven individuals to join the #BestTeamEver! Interested in a career with Cloud for Good? Check out our open positions today!