As an IT Project Manager and Team Lead, as well as a mother of three boys and an over volunteer, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of networking sessions, community activities and everything in between. While all have had an impact on my skills and knowledge, I feel that the Month of Inclusion has allowed me to feel more connected to SAP and create new avenues of thinking when leading my team.
At a “Leading Ladies” event I attended with other SAP colleagues, I mentioned the Month of Inclusion. As the discussion continued, I was asked why the Month of Inclusion is important to me. I replied that after Sybase was acquired by SAP, we felt initially isolated in Dublin with the focus of events being in Palo Alto. The Month of Inclusion brings all the offices together in a concentrated effort and brings us into one team with a singular focus.
After attending a number of Month of Inclusion events, such as The Art of Stillness and Social Thinking, I can see the impact the inclusion has on my role in leading projects and teams. The idea that SAP employees can come together on other topics outside the realm of our regular tasks, can broaden our horizon of thinking.
For example, when attending the Social Thinking session hosted by Michelle Winner, I learned a number of social queues that not only affect those with autism but all of us in our everyday settings. From personal space to not talking in an elevator (when everyone knows they are stuck in a confined space with other individuals), the lessons I learned were beyond the immediate topic at hand.
In volunteering with Open Heart Kitchen at the Dublin Senior Center as part of Month of Inclusion’s Service opportunities, it gave me a wonderful feeling of giving back to the community, a feeling that I brought back to the office that was contagious.
Overall, the idea of inclusion has also extended my network of individuals within SAP and the other organizations they are involved with. As result, I come back to my team renewed and focused.
I encourage others to attend Month of Inclusion sessions as I believe they will also return energized. With the wide range of topics and activities, there is something for everyone. From seminars to volunteerism, each time, you will gain new ideas and break out of the rut we all sometimes fall in.