SAP LEAP: Developing Women Leaders
By Reka Ando, Tamara Barner, Nancy Callahan, Cristiana Grigore, Estelle Lagorce, Roxana Marcu, Heidi Viik
Why is the percentage of women in leadership increasing at some technology companies and not at others? The increase at SAP may provide part of the answer. First, the SAP Supervisory Board made a multi-year, public commitment to increase women in management to 25% by 2017. Second, the company invests in the development of women leaders through targeted training and experiential development. Third, the company reports on progress down to the individual manager level.
We are the beneficiaries of SAP’s commitment as participants in SAP’s award winning Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program (LEAP), a yearlong targeted development journey focused on supporting women to achieve their career aspiration of rising into people management positions or reaching new levels of people leadership.
Each month, we address a specific topic such as “The Business of Leadership.” As part of this month’s work, we discussed Susan Calantuono’s Ted Talk The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get, in which Susan identifies the three characteristics necessary for executive promotion: financial acumen, proven business understanding, and strategic thinking. Through formal action plans and peer support we put into actions the lessons learned.
Because we want to share the benefits of this exceptional program and encourage both men and women who care deeply about this issue, we invite you to exchange information, insights and encouragement by using the hashtag: #SAPWomenLEAP.
LEAP has been an integral step as I continue to grow as a leader here at SAP/Concur. Each months theme is topical, thoughtful, and educational as well as inspiring! Beyond the "homework" the best part has been networking and learning from other women leaders. Whether it be the the experiences they share, the advice they give, or the critique offered in the true spirit of helpfulness, the LEAP program could be used as a foundation and catalyst for continuing the promotion of not only women leaders, but all leaders throughout the company.
#SAPWomenLEAP is an outstanding program, I'm honored and pleased to be part of it. It helps me think and take action not 'just' on day to day business, but also on proactive steps to develop myself and others, extend my network, collaborate with female leaders about leadership paths, and get perspective about our personal brands. Thank you SAP for the corporate priority allocated to developing female leaders, and for initiating programs like this to make it actionable and concrete!
I am proud to be a recent graduate of LEAP - just last month! The curricula provided and the associated application of it was very valuable. However, the opportunity to expand my network through learning circles, networking, gaining a mentor and even participating in a Fellowship was extremely valuable and impactful in my career pursuits.
SAP is currently investing resources to make LEAP even better and more inclusive. The commitment from SAP and our leadership to building capability for women and men makes it one of the reasons I am so proud to work here. #lifeatsap