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No Woman No Cry – Women in SAP: Hear Their Stories

Article was originally authored by Toni Ravelo, Head of Employee Communications for SAP APJ.


“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away,” – Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights activist.

For International Women’s Day, we caught up with women leaders around SAP APJ to find out what advice they have for the next generation of women.  Here’s to the women in SAP who take our breath away!

/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/womenofsap1_699702.jpegANZ – Rosemary Leamon
Sales Operations Director, APJ Services
Head of Operations, Global Services and Support, ANZ

Rosemary is a senior executive with over 30 years’ experience in the Professional Services and IT sectors having worked in both CFO and Operations capacities at SSA, Peoplesoft, Business Objects and SAP.  Over her 8 years at SAP she has held a variety of APJ and ANZ Operations leadership roles.  She is also a Board member of The University of New England (UNE) and sits on their Finance and Infrastructure Committees.

Rosemary mentors women who are looking to move into the executive level within their careers, offering support and advice so they may step into that senior role with more confidence. Over the last year she has mentored 3 women who have recently been promoted into APJ and C-level roles.  Rosemary has also been recently appointed to the ANZ Diversity and Inclusion Council and has a particular interest in building leadership pathways for those on Expert Career Paths as well as exploring innovative work arrangements which cater to the generation of employees who are still highly engaged and stimulated by their contribution but would like to work part time.

Her advice to women  – “Be confident that your skills and passions can bring value to any organisation.  SAP breeds top performers and you are one of them so trust in your competencies, be justifiably proud of your contribution, and be comfortable in finding your voice.  Be authentic and genuine, believe in yourself and believe that you deserve the opportunities before you.  Studies now show that companies and boards with women in senior positions outperform those without, so understand the value you bring and put it into action ”

What is her Simple – If you can link the task to a business outcome do it, if you cannot, don’t!

/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/womenofsap2_699703.jpegSEA – Renata Janini Dohmen
HR Director, SEA

Renata Janini Dohmen is Human Resources Director for SAP South East Asia. Based in Singapore, she is responsible for the People and Organization Strategy for SAP across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

Strategic Human Resources Business Partner, Renata has over 18 years of experience in Workforce Planning, Organization Design and Development, Employee Communications, Talent Management, Project Management, Total Rewards, Channel Enablement and Customer Training in technology companies in Latin America and Asia Pacific countries. Renata joined SAP from Avaya, where she was Head of Human Resources for the Global Sales and Marketing organization in Asia Pacific from 2011 to 2014, including ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand, India, Japan, Korea and Greater China.

Before joining Avaya in 2009, Renata developed a 12.5-year career in Motorola, having held country and regional positions of increased responsibility in Training and Development and Strategic Human Resources Partnership in Latin America.

Her advice to women“Invest in your self-awareness, be bold and be kind to yourself.”

What is her Simple – “Breathe and keep it simple. There is always an alternative and life is not that complicated!”

/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/womenofsap3_699704.jpegJapan – Mari Sagiya
Head of Strategy, Marketing & Communications

Mari spent almost 30 years at IBM Japan prior to joining SAP last year.  She was the first ever female executive of a sales organization in the history of IBM Japan which was unheard of in the Japanese IT industry.

She also started up the Japan Women’s Innovative Network(J-Win) 10 years ago which helps develop and empower female leaders within Japan.  The group is organized by an NPO and has participation from 100 major corporations and 1,000 alumni to date.  Mari looks to bring that same spirit of empowerment to SAP Japan.

Mari feels that it is important to give greater challenges to women in Japan, even in areas they have no experience in. They would usually get it done well and consequently gain courage and confidence.

Her advice to women – “Develop a passion to understand what the value is for your customer.  Feel pride in representing your customer and your company to develop that value for your customer.”

What is her Simple – In order to understand what can be simplified, you have to experience the complex.  When you look back to see that the time spent on excessively detailed work did not have value, you get smarter and know how to simplify better the next time.

/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/womenofsap4_699705.jpegIndia – Vibha Shukla

Director and Head of HR, India

Vibha has spent the last 10 years in HR roles in SAP and Satyam Computer Services. Vibha is a great example of how women can be successful both at work and at home. She is to balance her role as head of HR for services and sales organization in India and being the mother of twin boys.

Vibha has lead several internal initiatives that are focused on empowering women like the flexi-work arrangements in India and the Strive to Lead program. She has worked to increase number of weeks women are allowed to take for maternity leave and has implemented a maternity return program which helps women to feel welcomed once they return back to the work through coaching.

Her advice to women“Have faith in yourself.”

What is her Simple – Vibha just keeps it simple. She makes sure she focuses and prioritizes so that when she’s at work, she’s focused on work and when she’s at home, she spends quality time with her husband and sons.

/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/womenofsap5_699706.jpegKorea – Mary Shinn
COO, SAP Korea

Mary is a certified public account who first joined SAP Korea as its CFO before taking on the role of COO 3 year ago. Prior to that, she spent 11 years in Oracle and 7 years at Price Waterhouse Cooper in the US in roles that include pre-sales and consulting.

Mary is another example of how a woman can be a successful career women and a great mother – As a single mom, she singlehandedly raised her daughter who is currently attending UCLA in the US.

Her advice to women “If you ever get the opportunity to take on a customer facing role, don’t be afraid to take it. It will provide you with a greater business depth of understanding. And remember that as a woman you bring a unique set of attributes that bring value to the customer.”

What is her simple – In order to succeed, you must maintain your priorities and understand the constraints under which you work. To tackle complexity, we must first understand the complexity and then simplify.

Know of an inspirational women leader? Share her in the comments section!

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