“I want a place where it is safe for me to be who I am.”

I said those words 5 years ago when the Palo Alto chapter of Pride@SAP held our re-launch meeting.  We were asked to go around the room and share why we were attending the meeting.  At that time, there had been a rash of suicides committed by teens and young adults who felt they could go on no longer due to bullying.  I believed – I still believe – that all people should feel safe in their work, at school, and in their homes, and that it is our collective responsibility to create that world.

The last 5 years have been one of tremendous change and growth for Pride@SAP North America.  In 2012, we premiered our film “It Gets Better: SAP Employees.” We worked internally to expand healthcare benefits for our transgender colleagues, thereby achieving 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index.  SAP has now publicly declared its support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  And, for the last two years, SAP employees have spoken at or attended leading LGBT conferences (Lesbians Who Tech, Out & Equal).

Even with all of our gains, I was shocked and excited when the SAP Silicon Valley team approached us to use the SF Pride Parade as the marquee event uniting all 5 of our Bay Area campuses.  Participating in SF Pride had been a group goal for years, and it always seemed like something that was too big for us to take on. With the support of the SAPsv team, we’ve been able to cross off one more major goal off of our list!

When SAP executives and employees #RunProuder in LGBT Pride parades around the globe, we make the world safer for our future colleagues and leaders.  We show that diversity and inclusion isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s also good business.

How will you #RunProuder this Sunday?

If you are able to join us, there are still a few spaces left in our contingent! We are meeting in Assembly Area Location: R1 – Beale between Mission & Howard – West Side. We must be lined up by noon to ensure that we are ready when it’s our turn to join the parade!  Please bring plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen  — enough to last you and your guests for the entire afternoon.

If you can’t join us in person, you can watch the parade online, and be sure to follow @SAPsv and #RunProuder on Twitter!  Hundreds of SAP employees, friends and family will be sharing photos and insights from the parade route.

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