On International Women’s Day in March 2020, Salesforce launched its Bring Women Back to Work program. Its aim was to help women in Switzerland get back to work after a career break.
Since the program’s launch, K2 University has been working with Salesforce to select and train the participants. We provide flexible teaching to upskill and prepare them to re-enter the workplace. After completing their examinations and becoming Salesforce certified, the women have the chance to get a job with a leading global Salesforce Partner company.
Since the Bring Women Back to Work initiative was launched on International Women’s Day in March 2020, K2 has helped several graduates from the program start a career with some of the world’s leading consulting firms.
One of these women is Fulya Arman. She successfully completed the program in December 2020 and has since been employed by Salesforce as a Senior Solution Engineer.
We spoke to her about her experience with the Bring Women Back to Work program and her new career:
1. Tell us about your background
I’m originally from Turkey and have a degree in Computer Engineering. After graduating I worked in a bank developing software. I then worked for Microsoft, followed by a company that was the sole distributor of Apple and Adobe products in Business Development and Sales roles.
After 15 years of experience, mostly in the tech industry, my husband got a job in Switzerland. Our family moved to Bern and then Zürich. I decided to take a career break to ease our adaptation and take care of my family. We initially planned to reside in the country for three years but the stay became permanent. This meant I had to learn German to a professional level.
After a seven-year career break, I started my job search in 2017. With my experience and love for technology, I really wanted to get back into the tech industry. Unfortunately, taking a career break in the tech industry can put you at a disadvantage because of how fast it develops and changes. I’d also never used my German in a business setting and I didn’t have a professional network in Switzerland that I could turn to.
I finally found a program similar to Salesforce’s Bring Women Back to Work scheme. I began an internship through this program at a leading Swiss Insurance company, but I was still searching for opportunities to return to working in tech.
2. Why did you choose the Salesforce Bring Women Back to Work program?
I found the Bring Women Back to Work program in March 2020 thanks to a LinkedIn post. I already knew of Salesforce and was really drawn to the company values and culture.
Other companies offer similar-looking programs, but Bring Women Back to Work is the most holistic and comprehensive one. It is from Salesforce, but the whole partner and customer ecosystem contribute to the program in training and job offers. It offers technical training, but also includes much-needed details such as mentoring, coaching, soft skills.
The Bring Women Back to Work program had all the qualities I was looking for. It offered the potential for me to return to the tech industry and I love Salesforce. Its partner talent pool was excellent.
3. Describe your experience with K2 University during your time with the Bring Women Back to Work program
Every element of K2 University’s program gave me the support I needed to build my knowledge and confidence.
The training process was a challenging yet rewarding experience. We had to juggle everyday work with family commitments, training and homework. It was a fantastic way to prepare me for returning to the technology industry.
Luca Manera was a perfect trainer throughout the program! Even though we were being trained remotely, we were still able to laugh and have fun.
4. What skills did you gain and how do you think these will impact your future career?
I passed my exams and became fully certified in December 2020. I have since been employed by Salesforce as a Senior Solution Engineer. K2 University’s training was vital in helping me achieve this.
Since joining Salesforce, I’ve referred back to the training a lot. Not only do they prepare participants to return back to work in the tech industry, but the soft skills training is very important. Developing these skills allows professionals to find a job and excel at it. I used K2 University’s training resources to help me in my panel interview with Salesforce for my current role.
5. How are you finding your new placement?
I started my new position at Salesforce on 1st April 2021. There’s a vast amount to learn and onboarding remotely presents numerous challenges. Despite this, I love to learn, and the company culture and values are an excellent fit for me, which is why I wanted to join Salesforce in the first place!
I’m gaining new knowledge and skills every day. Salesforce is a very nurturing company.
6. What are your hopes for the future?
My immediate ambition is to learn deeply about Salesforce and its solutions so that I can become a trusted advisor to help our customers succeed.
In the long-term, I want to uphold my personal vision and values that I decided upon when I started my new role. I want to be an inspiration and an ambassador for the Bring Women Back to Work program and give other women the support they need to restart their careers. It would be fantastic to give back, by getting involved with mentoring and supporting other women, helping to create new opportunities for them.
Are you a professional woman in Switzerland on a career break and looking to get back into business? Find out more about the Salesforce Bring Women Back to Work program.