Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Pledge 1
Community Manager
Community Manager

Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way. 



Screenshot 2023-03-26 at 10.40.32 PM.png


 Becky Ferguson

SVP of Philanthropy & COO of Salesforce Foundation, Salesforce



What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.


As SVP of Philanthropy, I direct grant operations for all Salesforce giving, which exceeds half a billion dollars to date. I’m also COO of the Salesforce Foundation  where I help set our grantmaking strategy, build alignment and partnerships, and drive our mission to equip all young people with the skills and opportunities to reach their full potential.


This year's International Women's Day theme is "Embrace Equity." What does this mean to you? How can we build workplaces that are more equitable and inclusive?


To me, equity isn't a one off activity, it's a lens we should apply to everything we do. This includes building values-aligned practices, policies, and systems that reinforce and center equity in your work.

If we want to build more equitable and inclusive workplaces, we need to create more equitable and diverse talent pipelines. We know that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not—and we need to close that gap.

One of the best ways to do this is by investing in untapped talent, or young people from underserved and underrepresented communities who may be unaware of or lack access to the career possibilities that exist for them.

As companies, we can open the doors of opportunity by providing diverse career pathways for untapped talent. This can mean building out internship and apprenticeship programs. It can mean dropping the college degree requirement for new hires and focusing on skills instead.



The past few years have brought many new and unprecedented challenges. What keeps you motivated or inspires you to stay optimistic?


What keeps me optimistic is all the innovation from new leaders and organizations. Last year we launched the Salesforce Catalyst Fund, an initiative that provides unrestricted startup capital for younger or smaller nonprofits led by people of color and other underrepresented groups. These are up-and-coming organizations that may have been traditionally overlooked by philanthropy.

We've seen incredible impact come from these nonprofits, like The Hidden Genius Project, which has created a nationwide movement to train and mentor Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.


Pledge 1% helps companies of all sizes and stages leverage their assets for social good. Why do you think it's important that companies prioritize social impact? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share?


We know that for our business to thrive, our communities need to thrive. That's why social impact is so important.

23 years ago we pioneered the 1-1-1 model, and it is still one of the most innovative in the industry – that's because it empowers any company at any stage to give back. We are proud to be part of the global Pledge 1% movement of 18K companies around the world that are activating the full power of their business for social good — from their philanthropic funding, to their employee talent and time, to their products.

One of my favorite examples of the impact we can have when we partner together is our work with Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation. We provided $1M in funding to them to launch a pilot program to provide a scalable, sustainable solution to help schools, families, and farms combat food insecurity and food waste due to the pandemic. In addition to the philanthropic investment, a range of partners such as Oakland Unified School District, World Central Kitchen, Numi Foundation, Full Harvest, along with volunteers — came together to deliver 1.7 million pounds of food to nearly 126,000 families facing hunger.


Do you have any unique or useful life hacks to help get through your day?


One practice I picked up from my dad is the power of a daily jog. It doesn’t have to be long or fast, but just getting outside on a regular basis to move in the fresh air really helps me hit the reset button. My dad is in his early 80s and still gets out almost every day for his jog. I hope I can say the same! He also set a now long-running tradition of getting me a new pair of running shoes annually. Each year on my birthday, a pair of colorful sneakers arrives from my dad serving as a little reminder to keep it up.


Do you have any go-to apps or tools use love to use?


I love a classic hard cover Moleskin journal. There is something very special about unwrapping a new one and the invitation to put pen to paper and fill it with new ideas, thoughts, and learning.


What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?


I am excited to look at how the practice of listening shows up in my work. This includes building connections and ties with other leaders in the social impact space, and creating trusting relationships with our partners. We are embarking on a new body of work to reimagine how we engage our grantees as thought partners so that together we can identify areas for improvement, new partnerships, and transformative philanthropic needs and opportunities. I am excited to share more about what we learn from this effort in the year ahead.