Wittenberg, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, SAP
When I turned on my computer on Saturday morning, the
first thing that popped up was an ad from a cosmetics company that read: “Thank God I am a woman. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day — and
we have a special offer just for you.”
It made me stop and think about how far women have
come, how much we have achieved, and the countless contributions women have
made to make the world a better – and more special — place.
March 8 is set aside as International
Women’s Day (IWD). It has been recognized since the early
1900’s, a time of great change, growing population, and new – sometimes radical
— ideas. So much has happened over the
past 100+ years since International Women’s Day was first observed: legal and
social practices that relegated women to second-class status have been abolished
throughout many parts of the world.
Women’s achievements are more widely recognized and celebrated. Women’s voices are being heard more than ever
before. We are having a huge impact on
the world. And, while we all know there
is still so much more to do to ensure women’s rights and equality for all, let us focus on the progress we
have made – and consider the areas where we can have a direct influence…and
SAP is committed to increasing the number of women in
leadership positions, and has a publicly stated goal to reach 25% women in
management by 2017. As of the end of
2014, women accounted for 31% of our workforce; and we had 21.3% women in
leadership roles. We know that it will
be a challenge to meet our goals, but SAP is dedicated to providing women with
programs, initiatives, events, training, mentoring, and networking
opportunities that will allow them to grow and succeed. I encourage you to take a look at the Gender
Intelligence area of our jam site for more information – and,
if you haven’t done so already, to join the thousands of women who are already actively
engaged in a global dialogue via Women@SAP
and the Business
Women’s Network (with over 8,000 members and 30 chapters
While having a goal to increase women in management is
important, we also recognize that a company does not become more diverse by simply driving
toward a quota, enforcing compliance policies, or offering flexible work programs.
It is also essential to provide an
inclusive environment – one that allows all individuals – regardless of gender
— to be our authentic selves, that embraces the uniqueness we all bring to the
table and lets individuality shine.
Over the last two years, I have been fortunate to work
with many passionate people at SAP, who are committed to improving the way we
work with each other and the way we
care for each other. It is the most rewarding part of my job. And I am constantly amazed at the power each
individual has to make a difference.
So, although today is one on which the world is focusing
on gender equality, let us renew our pledge to do our part to ensure an
inclusive environment which allows the uniqueness of all of us to shine…..no matter what day it is.