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Social Builder and Salesforce: One Step Forward in France

By May 23, 2017

By Valerie Brokamp, Program Manager,

Imagine you didn’t have a technical background – maybe you studied arts, languages or maybe you didn’t go to university at all. So many of the job listings out there today require technical skills – if you were unemployed and wanted to enter the world of digital or technology, would you have the time or the financial means to go back to study? Should you?

In France, many young people, especially women are dealing with these questions, and not much has changed in the last two decades. Today, only 26% of women in France are choosing a career in technology, and at the same time companies are struggling to fill roles.

French companies have a tendency to prioritise candidates who have graduated from top universities and who have completed courses perfectly aligned to the job. But with a growing skills gap in ICT, and a projected 28% change in the top skills mix leading up to 2020, something needs to change.

Social Builder Paris - Salesforce Workshop

Last month, as part of our Workforce Development initiatives at we partnered with French nonprofit, Social Builder to run an in-office workshop at Salesforce Paris to connect participants from its Etincelles Booster program with women working at Salesforce.

“It was a great opportunity for me as I’ve learned that everything is possible and you have to give it a chance.”

Social Builder was founded in 2011 with a goal of ensuring the growth in the digital economy goes hand-in-hand with gender diversity in those sectors. To do so, it runs a variety of free programs such as Etincelles, helping talented young, unemployed women from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds find quality jobs in the digital and technology sectors.

Women who attended the session recently began the digital marketing stream of Etincelles Booster, and this workshop gave them a chance to learn more about the opportunities the sector offers. It also gave them the chance to gain insights and advice from women already working in these roles. Salesforce participants also shared how they manage work-life balance within a fast paced company like Salesforce.

One participant shared: “It was a great opportunity for me as I’ve learned that everything is possible and you have to give it a chance. I’m still wondering what to do next, it’s good to know there is a company like Salesforce and Trailhead to get acquainted with it and see what’s missing in my background. As a technical writer in the medical field doing testing applications, a shift to the digital sector can be challenging. “

For women with no technical experience, moving to the digital or technology sectors can be challenging. It’s important for them to be aware of the range of roles available and for them to understand that there are other ways to gain technical skills, that don’t require university, like using Salesforce Trailhead.

Learn more about our Workforce Development Programmes here >