Through and through, Elvita Quiñones is all about advocacy
After 15 years with Temple University, ALPFA Philly President has joined Salesforce, continuing her support of underrepresented communities.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
For nearly two decades, Elvita Quiñones has made it a mission to advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and representation.
Since 2007, Quiñones carried that mission to students at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, including over a decade as Associate Director at the Center for Undergraduate Advising.
After 15 years of bringing that to the higher education sphere at Temple, she recently started a new chapter in her career.
In July 2022, Quiñones began her role as the Director of Employee Advocacy and Belonging at Salesforce.
Salesforce is a tech company that makes cloud-based software designed to help businesses find more prospects, close more deals and make teams work better together.
Quiñones credits the network she has built at Temple and ALPFA — the latter of the two she serves as President — for putting her in a position to learn about the company and her new role.
“There’s something to be said for Temple University and the educational institution itself because if it wasn’t for Temple, I wouldn’t have connected with ALPFA,” Quiñones said in an interview with AL DÍA.
Through ALPFA, she’s had the opportunity to connect with fellow Latino professionals across various industries making a positive impact. Through those connections, she had been able to build her network and create a support system.
“The support system of ALPFA is an affirming space where I feel safe to bring my questions and concerns,” she added.
It’s a support system that she felt was always needed throughout her professional career, yet didn’t always have as a young woman of color.
That is why she has always looked for ways to put herself in a position where she is able to support and advocate for others who may find themselves in the same situation, whether it’s a lack of representation, the pay gap or anything in between.
In her newest role, Quiñones aims to use her experiences to provide opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds and connect with others who are doing similar social justice and advocacy work.
“That’s why I was attracted to Salesforce because they’re doing that work,” she said. “And they’re compensating people to challenge historic corporate business norms to make it a more inclusive workspace and bring out the best in all their staff and their team.”
“I’m excited to be a part of the organization, to learn and grow from it,” Quiñones added.
As Director of Employee Advocacy and Belonging, she joins Salesforce’s hotline team focused on improving the experiences of employees from diverse communities. Through advocacy, she assists in career navigation with the goal of fostering a sense of belonging in efforts to help companies retain talent.
Quiñones noted that the work is a continuation of the work she has been doing for years, when it wasn’t part of her official role. However, with Salesforce, that is precisely her job description.
“I get to do something I’m passionate about, advocate for communities that I’m passionate about, and be a voice for the voiceless,” she said.
After multi-year roles at Temple and Esperanza — both higher education institutions — Salesforce represents Quiñones’ first role within a corporate structure.
For her, it was a necessary move in order to grow and start the next chapter of her professional career.
Salesforce, in particular, is a corporation that Quiñones felt aligned with her values.
“When leadership is open to investing and trying to change systemic inequities, I think that’s encouraging,” she said, noting developing programming and addressing hiring practices as key elements.
With its Advocacy and Belonging team, Salesforce is providing a space for individuals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds to openly and freely express themselves, report on challenges they’re facing within the workplace, gain support, and, in some cases, advice on how to address their concerns in a way that leads to progression, inclusion, and ultimately, positive change.
Salesforce also has a career milestones program that helps people of color develop professionally and grow into the next level of their career.
The work being done at Salesforce has reinvigorated Quiñones’ commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, representation and advocacy. And as she starts her new journey, she is excited to see where that commitment continues to take her.
“Because it’s important that the work that I do makes a meaningful impact,” she said. “And especially when it comes to the communities that I have lived in and that my family is living in.”