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Author's profile photo Moya Watson

Run Unalone. Announcing LGBT Allies: SAP Employee Stories

In June 2012, SAP released a powerful antibullying film called It Gets Better: SAP Employees. Ours was just one of the over 50,000 notable films from individuals, celebrities, companies, and others in which real people delivered personal messages of hope to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth who may be in crisis. But it was unique in its dedication to one special person: it was released in memory of Jeffrey Patrick Fehr, son of SAP colleague Steve Fehr, who tragically took his life on January 1, 2012, after years of anti-gay bullying.

28 months later, It Gets Better: SAP Employees is still one of the top most-viewed SAP videos, has been translated into 13 languages in response to global volunteer effort, and has united literally thousands of colleagues from around the world.

We were astounded and humbled at the outpouring of support from colleagues both LGBT and straight who embraced and wanted to share the film to make sure we did not lose one more precious person. Hardly a day goes by in my own work life that I don’t think of this film’s release and how many amazing allies we have encountered within SAP’s community stepping up to tell us that we do not walk alone: not at home nor at work.

This momentum has only continued, and today, thanks to the incredible grassroots work of all kinds of fine colleagues including the Global HomoSAPiens employee network, straight allies, and @LifeAtSAP, we are proud to release a special new film: a compilation of messages from colleagues around the world who want to share how they are LGBT allies.  Introducing:

LGBT Allies: SAP Employee Stories

My huge thanks to the colleagues in and behind this film and their passion to let you and me know that even in our hardest moments, we are not alone. No one walked in Jeff’s shoes, but if Jeff had known of the thousands of allies he had yet to meet around the globe, would he have made a different decision?

Please watch and share as we continue to join together around the world to run better, stronger, and – in all our wonderful differences – unalone. 

UPDATED TIME: PS: Are you coming to SAP d-code && TechEd Las Vegas? Join us on Tuesday, October 21, at 6pm in Lounge 2 for the first-ever SAP LGBT Birds-of-a-Feather session at this conference:

SAP TechEd && d-code Las Vegas | October 20–24, 2014 | Home

I look forward to meeting you there! Friends and allies welcome.

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      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      What a wonderful video - Thank you Moya for sharing this with us - and to all the LGBT Allies whose messages are so uplifting.

      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      I'm afraid to think of where we'd be without allies like you, Sue.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      What a great video! Thank you for posting it here. I can't wait to share it with the other members of our Diversity Council here at CPChem corporate headquarters, and I look forward to the LGBT BOF session in Las Vegas.



      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Gretchen!  Can't wait to see you and compare notes about diversity and allies at work!

      Author's profile photo Thorsten Franz
      Thorsten Franz

      This is so great, Moya! I already commented on Facebook but want to share the suggestion here in case others want to comment:

      Could SAP collect similar snippets from SAP TechEd && d-code visitors and compile a video by Wednesday or Thursday to show at one of the big evening events?



      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      Fabulous idea Thorsten and I'm not sure about execution in the short term.  Everyone reading is welcome to make their own selfie and share on the webs with #LGBTAlly -- perhaps if we invite the tags #SAP #LGBTAlly we could easily collect snippets.

      Will give it some more thought if there's a lightning-fast way to make something production quality in a hurry.  Ideas and help welcome!

      Author's profile photo Tobias Trapp
      Tobias Trapp

      As SAP Mentor I am quite often in Walldorf and when I tweet that I’m there I get invitations by many product owners and they like to discuss their prototypes as well as their current work with me since I know them from former Customer Engagement  Initiatives. After discussing their projects we use to chat near the coffee corner and talk about more private topics like engagement in SAP Community as well as work life balance and so on. I know some of the people since some years and we meet frequently at internal, external SAP events as well as Marktstube in Walldorf. When we talked last time I was in Walldorf I was surprised when they asked about my husband’s opinion towards all my SAP related activities like writing books, publishing on SCN and so. My answer was simple: we’re together since about 22 years and he already knows that I’m always very passionate about the things I’m doing and I’m thankful that he’s supporting me.

      In that moment I realized that I blogged in the past about several activities of SAP’s LGBT employees activities so that it is quite known in SAP that I’m gay. This is also obvious since we always travel together to SAP related events and of course we have been together at the evening event of SAP Inside Track Munich.

      And I really like that at SAP being gay is no problem at SAP – from my experience gay people are treated exactly the same way like straight people. So when we talk about our private lives then there is no need to hide – I can just talk in an open and relaxed atmosphere.

      And this is very important: the SAP employees I know are well aware that the world is diverse and LGBT people are part of it. I think this a huge advantage of SAP: the company is international, intercultural, diverse and knows that this is a strength. And I really appreciate that LGBT employees remind SAP about this and I’m really proud being an SAP Mentor for a company that does such an amazing work in the area of diversity management.



      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      Tobias -- Every once in awhile someone takes the time to make a comment that just stops me in my tracks with gratitude.  You just gave me that moment again.  Huge thanks for taking the time to think about this and share with us.

      You are part of the model of diversity, respect, and inclusion that makes the SAP ecosystem what it is, and I hope that when you say there is "no need to hide" when you talk about private lives with other colleagues, it's not just because they already know you're gay -- but that even those for whom it is new information are as welcoming as what you describe here.  You're a huge role model and example for me.  thank you.