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If you know me, you know that I’m fond of diversity and that I’m not afraid to point out a lack of gender equality when I see it. For example, I recently enjoyed the Meta-Themes from the Web 2.0 Expo Floor in San Francisco but only counted one woman in a sea of (excellent) male keynotes (thank you Mitchell Baker). Likewise, representation of women, especially in senior-executive-level positions at SAP — well, it could be better.

I acknowledge that inequities in diversity are not always easy to explain or address. I know for a fact how hard the Web 2.0 Expo organizers worked, for example, to attract a better representation of women at the conference. Likewise, senior leaders at SAP have expressed that they would gladly promote qualified women if they could find them. To this, I reply that I’ve been impressed at the high visibility of our friends such as Google, Microsoft, Sun, and many others at tech events such as the Grace Hopper Celebration, yet discouraged at the relative absence of SAP’s visibility.

Which is why I’m particularly pleased to announce that this year, SAP is putting its money where my mouth is. SAP is a new sponsor of the Anita Borg Institute (ABI), which supports the promotion of women in the fields of science and technology. As part of this, Rami Branitzky, our managing director, has invited us to lunch.

That’s right: Rami is offering winning bidders a chance for a two-hour executive lunch with him, and the winners will be announced during the ABI’s Women of Vision Awards banquet coming up this week on May 8th. You don’t need to be present to win — but bidding ends soon.

It’s important enough to Rami and it’s important to SAP. So now it’s time for ME to put my money where my mouth is. I’ve placed the first bid on Rami, and although I would look forward to the opportunity to dine with him, I challenge YOU to unseat my bid, so we can help further the cause of diversity in technology and diversity in general — ultimately to the benefit of us all. Time is running out! Bidding ends on May 8th.

I look forward to your counterbid — so bid now!

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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    a heroine. And thanks for surfacing this important topic. While sometimes under-represented we are often well-represented.  I’m looking at the highest total lifetime contributors to SDN and glad to see Bhanu running way beyond the pack. Diversity is the only way to keep an organism healthy. 
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    1. Moya Watson Post author
      thank you marilyn — also for pointing out how well the community represents. i’m also really impressed with the cultural diversity of the community — and likewise, the rank-and-file at SAP. it’s been an incredibly diverse experience for me in that regard.
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  2. ..in many different ways. 

    First of all, thank you for posting this blog!  I think it’s also important to note that with the fierce competition for new talent, diversity in the workforce is one of the factors that is increasingly attractive to the millenial generation.  I am lucky in that I have a fantastic female boss at SAP but I know that I am somewhat in the minority in this regard.

    By sponsoring the Anita Borg Institute, SAP can demonstrate to the community and potential recruits that it takes diversity seriously and as Moya put it, is “putting its money where it’s mouth is”.  We should take this opportunity to tell all of our peers outside of SAP as well and get external people to bid on Rami.  The higher his price goes, the more proceeds will go to the Anita Borg Institute’s numerous programs for fostering women in tehcnology, a very worthy cause 🙂

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    1. Moya Watson Post author
      fariya – thanks for the comment!  i did get one outbidder — perhaps one of our dear readers…  so it’s heating up — though one does not make it such a hot ticket!

      and — i think google is still in the lead!

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