Story of a True Example of Today’s Modern Woman… the life of Sushma Tiwaari

“The women of today are in a fair way to dethrone the myth of femininity; they are beginning to affirm their independence in concrete ways;” says Simone de Beauvoir. The story of Sushma Tiwaari is an illustration of the same.

Sushma belongs to an upper middle class Hindu family where her parents stressed on leading a disciplined life. Hailing from a Hindu Brahmin family, spirituality is deeply rooted in her. As a daughter of an Entrepreneur she never had experienced money-crunch, but her mother ensured that she valued money. Her background has helped her in understanding both sides of being an employer and an employee – the woes of an Employee and the stress of an Employer.

Sushma’s humble beginning was at Mphasis, working night shifts, which she opted for just so that she could be more “‘available” to her kid during the day, so that her kid would miss her less. The support of her family is her greatest strength and she herself has the determination of iron. Her supreme potency lies in her will power to overcome obstacles, her strong convictions, and the ability to believe in self despite difficulties.

Working with Salesforce was incidental. A friend of Sushma suggested her name for an opening at Salesforce and she was interviewed and before she knew it, she was working at UB City, Salesforce’s Bangalore office. They were a team of 8 members out of which 2 were based out of Gurgaon and rest of them was in Bangalore on a contractual basis. At that time Salesforce was relatively a young company in India and when their team made calls to prospects, people had not heard of Salesforce before. Those were the tough times but Salesforce has come a long way since then and she believes that she was fortunate to have met a few of the known personalities from Salesforce who later turned out to be her mentors.

She has been working exclusively on Salesforce platform from the past 5+ years and what she loves about Salesforce is its strong Community called “Ohana”. How many companies out there have a culture, and have a name for it?

Sushma is immensely inspired by Jonathan Allen Yabut, the winner of the first season of “The Apprentice Asia,” There were many contenders who were smarter than him, more experienced than him and even more educated than him but he won despite the odds. She is a strong advocate that if anyone has the following qualities, the none is bound to succeed – Will power, discipline, a constant hunger to learn and most importantly – To Give up Living your life according to other’s expectations.“I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live your expectations, and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. If you are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.” ~Fritz Perls.

Being a single mum was never easy – juggling between home and office and grooming yourself to progress in your career is a challenge in itself. In addition to this keeping your head above the water at work, running a tight ship at home, managing a kid, being the perfect hostess, and still finding time for yourself to remain fit and to learn to deal with the ever-changing Technology – bar for a working mum tag has certainly been raised in today’s world.

When she started back in 2010, little did she know that she was to be a part of the incredible Salesforce Ohana Community and that one day she will be a leader of Salesforce Bangalore User Group…call it Serendipity!! With the motto of inspiring more girls into Salesforce, she supports the concept of WIT. She believes that there might be many women out there going through a struggle which we may not be aware of, but by providing a platform and sharing your story with them makes them feel that they are not alone and that they have an “Ally”; Today, women in Salesforce across the globe support each other and have inspired many women to come out of their shells and to accept themselves the way they are. Women have proved to be great Leaders in society; sometimes all women need is a little nudge and some direction. And this is precisely what she intends to do.

Salesforce has helped her understand core areas of strength – Communication, Client handling skills – and with Salesforce Certifications and having worked with many projects in different verticals; this, in turn, has assisted her to grow both professionally and as an individual. But today, after more than 5+ years in the Salesforce domain, 3 Certifications, 170 TrailHead Badges later, having been appeared as a speaker for WIT User groups and recently been selected as Bangalore User group Leader, Sushma believes that things can change for you if you believe in yourself first.

She doesn’t say that she has reached her potential, but Salesforce has accelerated her career to a great extent to help her achieve her target with each passing year. A good mix of Traditional values with a modern Outlook, she truly symbolizes “A Woman of Today”.

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Awesome Admin….Accidental Admin…. this time it’s none other than Stacey

The term “Awesome Admin” is everywhere but she considers herself an “Accidental Admin” and that is how she made her journey in Salesforce ecosystem.

Stacey didn’t set out to be a System Administrator, nor did she actually plan to learn Salesforce at all. As a matter of fact, she wasn’t even in technology. She was a recruiter for the nuclear power industry. They use to hire contractors for short term projects. Each project needed contractors with a variety of skills, certifications, and experience levels. They tracked these requirements in Excel spreadsheets and used to store information on their contractors with Outlook contact cards. … Yikes! That was not the best way for accomplishing the target. In the course of her journey, there were many frustrations! At times like, when she couldn’t update a project spreadsheet that another recruiter was working in or when a contractor would get calls for a job which he had already accepted because each recruiter was working disconnected. Clearly, there was a better way.

She believes that one of her best and worst features is that she is really nosey. Sometimes, being nosey gets her in trouble. But often, it leads to exciting new paths in life. So, when her recruiting manager kept talking about a new Applicant Tracking System, she had the zeal to know more. She used to ask him about the new system and from where she could learn it. Then, finally, that day came when her manager handed her login credentials to a new Salesforce org and asked her to learn the system, configure the system and teach the system to everyone.

Woah! Talk about being thrown into the deep end; Stacey had no idea what she had just stepped in to. “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves”. And Stacey did the same.

Becoming self-taught in Salesforce was difficult. There was so much that she didn’t know, but her strong determination was her highlight. There were things like when she was asked to add a new field, sometimes she had to go to Setup-Customize-Accounts and at others Setup-Create-Objects-Job Applicants. It just didn’t make sense to her. Not knowing the difference between standard versus custom configurations was a challenge. Not understanding system architecture and how the objects relate to one another made reporting irritating for her at times. But the largest hurdle she faced was not knowing how to move forward. She grasped what was asked to learn to get set up, mainly through Google searches. But it wasn’t until she came across with the Trailblazer Community that she really saw a future in Salesforce.

Being connected with the community introduced her to people whom she could collaborate with, learn from, and get inspired. One of the first people she connected with was Salesforce MVP Cheryl Feldman. The way Cheryl took the time to answer questions and offered to meet with her whenever she visited NYC was huge! She encouraged her to participate in user groups, both in person and virtually. There Stacey heard many stories of how Salesforce was transforming the business and that inspired her to do more with her org.

Her involvement in the Salesforce community also made her learn about Salesforce Certifications and she swiftly sought both her Admin and Advanced Admin credentials. Later, her Salesforce career led into a Pardot career and she expanded by becoming the Pardot Specialist. She did Pardot Consultant certifications as well.

After 7+ years of Salesforce, she still believes that being involved in the community is one of the best things anyone can do for establishing a career in Salesforce. Meet people, share your knowledge and be inspired. Whether you are 1 of a thousand employees in your office or flying solo and working remote, you need people in the community. The Reports & Dashboard group will help each and everyone to build the right report. The local user group also offer to make great local connections for coming across with new opportunities. The community events, such as India Dreamin’ or Southeast Dreamin’, recharges Salesforce people and highlight the next great features in Salesforce. The Getting Started group is where one can give back to those who are just beginning their Salesforce journey.

We’re all Awesome Admins. We all have a story to share that will encourage someone and inspire everyone. We all have questions that others can assist with. And we all possess some valuable knowledge to share. Salesforce has a long tradition of giving back to the community and Stacey is growing, progressing with this motto.

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Jessica Murphy, from a Sign Language Interpreter to a Known Personality in Salesforce World…

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible” – Winston Churchill

Jessica Murphy’s story makes you believe in this quote. She is an “out of the box” thinker with a great sense of humor and will always meet you with her wonderful smile. Her innovative and practical approach towards life is quite commendable and is one of the prime reasons for her journey towards success. Jessica’s positive vibes and her smiling nature assist her and everyone around her in taking the critics in an affirmative way.

As a teenager, Jessica started as a babysitter for friends, neighbours and family. In 2003, She graduated with a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting and worked as an ASL interpreter and instructor for approximately 14 years. She completed her post-graduate work in Adult Education and Training in 2014. Her plan was to work in an office of disability services and perhaps attain a doctoral degree.

However, the course of her life was noticing on the cake. After graduating, she faced a lot of issues in finding a job. By 2015 she was still searching when she meets Sheena, a full-stack developer, and Women Who Code volunteer. Sheena was passionate about teaching women code. For Jessica, this encounter was a turning point in her life. The idea of learning to code appealed to her. Jessica went home, googled Women Who Code and learning code. She joined Women Who Code Phoenix as well as Girl Develop It Phoenix. She began learning HTML, CSS and JavaScript. She started digging more and more to gain knowledge by attending a coding boot camp for Ruby on Rails and another for JavaScript.

Girl Develop It Phoenix was very active in exposing women to various languages and technologies. Jessica’s transition into Salesforce was a result of these experiences. Girl Develop It Phoenix has a dine and demo about Salesforce. Jessica went to support a friend. When the friend was excited about the prospect of Salesforce, Paula Nelson (aka ThatDarnWoman) invited Jessica and the friend to attend a weekend user group event featuring Chris Duarte. Because Jessica believed she was there to support her friend, she was initially focused on a JavaScript project. However, as Chris spoke about her experiences and the Salesforce platform, Jessica became enthralled. Before long, she stopped coding and began exclusively listening to Chris. During that event, she made up her mind choose Salesforce as her path.

Jessica’s experiences in learning technology has not always been easy. In bootcamp and in learning Salesforce, she has felt Imposter Syndrome. She has felt like she’s lacked knowledge, but she kept moving forward anyway. In 2016, Jessica achieved Trailhead Ranger status. After accomplishing this goal, she decided that 2017 would be her year to become certified. With the help of Girlforce (now Amplify), she went to Destination Success and passed her Admin and App Builder certifications. Even though 2017 was a tough year personally, she went on to attain Advanced Admin, Platform Developer 1 and Sales Cloud certifications.

Jessica is quite passionate about helping women to learn Salesforce and learn to code. Before meeting Sheena, she had not met a female developer in her life and had only met one black developer. In essence, she did not see herself reflected in technical professions. Visibility is vital and as it is said “There is always someone following your next step”. By leading, volunteering and helping others, she hopes that others can relate to her experiences and envision themselves in a tech role whether that individual is a girl, black, brown or any other applicable minority. She wants other women to succeed in Salesforce. In her expedition for the same, she has initiated on a few projects in hope of inspiring girls begin their Salesforce careers.

A glance at some of her works: “SaaSie Tech Socials”– The purpose of SaaSie is to bring women together from numerous backgrounds and to devise a network of individuals who assist each other to succeed in technology.

“Phoenix Salesforce Saturday”– She is one of 3 founders of Phoenix Salesforce Saturday. Salesforce Saturday was created by Stephanie Herrera in 2015 to encourage everyone to improve and master Salesforce.

“Women Who Dev User Group” – This group was created with a perspective in mind to encourage women to learn coding and become Salesforce developers. Most recently, Jessica decided to lead the charge to challenge WWDUG member and allies to 100 Days of Code to learn code and improve skills.

She is inspired by people from all walks of life for diverse reasons. A few of them are Maya Angelou, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Michelle Obama, Marianne Williamson and Iyanla Vanzant. Within the Salesforce ecosystem, she is quite inspired by some of the amazing people namely Leah McGowen-Hare, The Trailhead Team, Stephanie Herrera, etc.

Jessica believes that “A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her” and she most definitely has proved it. She deserves applaud and with this spirit let’s devise a world for women where there is equality. “Salesforce Equality” is not only the right thing but it is the smart thing which is one of the core values of Salesforce.

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Whether you are starting, continuing or perfecting, your journey to amazing is here……….. Seema Dhingra

Some personalities need no introduction and Seema is one of them. I came to know about Seema since when I started into Salesforce and she is an inspiration to all women who have some purpose in life. Seema is working with Accenture as Associate Manager (Salesforce) with 12 years of IT experience. She is a blogger and mother of two years old.

Seema grew up in New Delhi, India and had a humble and happy childhood. She says that her parents, since her early childhood, had planted a belief in her mind that to create a difference in the world you don’t require everyone to be a part of it but the right amount of courage, a positive attitude, and most importantly the conviction to go through with it.

These are the lessons that have shaped who she is as a leader today. She possesses leadership qualities and is leading her associates in high spirits with full motivation and encouragement which serve as a booster for them. She is also thankful for the amazing team she has.

Juggling between corporate life and family life has always been challenging for her but with the support of her family, she is managing everything perfectly. Her job requires traits of patience, time and concentration which motivate her to accomplish her goals. Seema strives to make a difference, to learn something new every day and is proud to work with a team of the best and the brightest.

Seema migrated in Salesforce by luck. She never thought of changing technology. She was working on Oracle for seven years and was enjoying it. She stepped in Salesforce in the year 2010 when her company gave her an opportunity of the lifetime to work on Salesforce platform. She is a lady who is determined to face challenges and agreed to learn Salesforce on her own. At that time Google, TrailHead, Salesforce Community, Salesforce Blogs were some of the sources that guided her to master Salesforce. Salesforce website has short videos on Sales cloud, service cloud, marketing cloud and on many more topics. Youtube also has vast content. She recommends all these sources of immense information to anyone who is interested to learn Salesforce. Seema also says that Community support in Salesforce is commendable. Everyone is ready to help each other. She started following people like Jeff Douglas, Abhinav Gupta, Ankit Arora, Jitender Jha and many notable personalities in Salesforce. She is now determined to work in Salesforce, for Salesforce, and towards the community. She finds that Salesforce is a platform for everyone and empowers the people to develop new skills. Salesforce is a great podium that has an immense scope and has a huge demand in the market nowadays. Salesforce is a platform which has no end it’s a journey keep going and keep achieving greater heights.

Seema’s journey in Salesforce has made her three times Salesforce certified – Sales Cloud certified, Salesforce Developer platform 1 certified and Salesforce admin certified. She desires to serve to help hand to every girl who wants to enter in Salesforce, inspire them and to give back in return what she has achieved from Salesforce.

Seema believes in high thinking and the vast arena of possibilities. Her goal is not to limit her goals by the present but plan for the future and make it happen with her hard work, intent, and focus. She is inspired by Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Benioff all people who belong to a middle-class family and has fulfilled their dreams and aspirations. She believes in the dictum that “Nothing is impossible” and with this thinking, she has made her footprints for others to follow. Her faith in God provides her courage to face each and every challenge.

Be a person who illuminates the path and is an awakening for everyone and Seema Dhingra is one such illustration. “A woman is unstoppable after she realizes that she deserves better”– she makes this saying true.

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Women Empowerment- Cheers To Feminism!!! Cheers to Life!!!

In the 21st century, females have made a mark in each and every domain be it technology, space, Salesforce, and various other verticals. Today, women in technology stand for an independent woman or a group of professional women who after discussions knew they wanted to escalate the definition above traditional technical skills. When one female supports another, incredible things happen. Professional careers and opportunities come forward.

International Women’s Day honors and commemorates the essential role females have played in framing our modern society. Recently, we have been listening about the emphasis of women in engineering, technology, science thus revolutionizing the world with their brilliance and intelligence. From Ada Lovelace, Prophet of Computer Age to Sheryl Sandburg, COO of Facebook, women have played an essential part in technological and scientific amelioration and elevation.

The technology industry has always been maintaining pace in terms of gender parity. Women in the automation industry have come up with 56% of the role in elite business enterprises in technology. One of the popular illustrations in female empowerment in Salesforce Ohana is the Women in Tech User Group, led by the Salesforce community which is driving more and more women who have been in technology towards Salesforce. Salesforce Ohana inspires women to contribute to the myriad of scope and also furnishing them with a podium to influence others.

Women Win-an internationally recognized group is another illustration on gender equality. This center operates in more than 25 countries and it is driving more females towards Salesforce. The organization gathers, regulates, stores and analyzes data pertaining to Salesforce industry. It further records the information and assesses the impact it is building. Women Win is an organization which has changed its course from sports to Salesforce. Since then it is focusing on interactive dashboards to create and bolster cumulative impact. Women also concentrate on accurate and comprehensive data analysis, particularly in Salesforce.

Recognizing and accepting the existence of girls is a decisive step in forming pertinent and relevant creativeness. Assembling information preciously from females about their ability, intelligence and expertise is indispensable for flourishing and conveying immense kind of program that fits their needs.

There have been a huge number of women who have made a mark in Salesforce. If you look at Holly Firestone, Abhilasha Singh, Stephanie Herrera, Amy Oplinger, Geraldine Gray and Elena Inurrategui are some of the women who are an inspiration for each and every female in Salesforce. Many women kick-off their carrier in Salesforce. Since starting and now they are recognized and well-known personalities in Salesforce. For Example, Holly is the Director of Community Programs in Salesforce and handles Salesforce Community team, User Group Programs and Salesforce MVP’s. Holly Firestone is an asset in Salesforce and promotes the Salesforce Community.

Abhilasha Singh, she is the first female MVP in India. A true inspiration for everyone. She has been featured as “Girly Geek of the Week” on 2015 by Salesforce MVP “Lauren Jordan”. She got “Tami Award” in honor of Salesforce MVP- Tami V Esling in the WITness Success event organized by Salesforce MVPs & WITs in Chicago, 2017. Along with that, she is the leader of Women In Tech Groups in India “India VirtualWomen in Tech (Official Group)”.

Stephanie Herrera is another example of women in Salesforce. She began her journey 19 years ago from Dell. Since then her progress has been buoyant and vivacious. After working in Apple she diverted towards Salesforce and now all her endeavors are towards Salesforce only. Stephanie is a Salesforce MVP and currently working as the Director of Salesforce and Business Operations.
These inspiring stories will surely motivate and encourage more and more females to work in technology with greater zeal and passion.

Be a Woman of excellence, supremacy and perfection.

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