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Originally written by Kathrin Kapp, HR BP CTO & SAP Cloud Platform

In June, this year we published a blog about the CTO & SAP Cloud Platform organization of Björn Goerke called “Technology an old boy’s club? Not in our organization!” The article outlined that the unit and its Senior Mgmt. team encourage and support a gender diverse workforce and leadership. Female colleagues, technical expert and female people managers from various areas in the organization shared their experience and insights. Since then additional women have taken over a leadership role in CTO & SAP CP which emphasize that the blog was not just idle talk. Find out more about their new roles and what it took to get there.

Gabriella Vittek, Delivery Manager and Program Lead for SAP Cloud Platform Integration, in SAP CP Services, Walldorf

What’s you SAP background?

I joined SAP in 2001 and since that time covered different roles with focus on quality and delivery in the product areas SAP CRM , SAP Process Integration, and SAP Cloud Integration. Due to these different insights, I understood soon the importance of quality assurance and the impact of keeping deadlines in the software life cycle. To accomplish my daily tasks, I had to deal with a large number of different tools (not integrated with each other) and to follow complicated processes. This helped me to develop a sense of simplicity. I strongly believe that providing simplicity requires the highest level of excellence, but it can improve efficiency significantly.

What was your motivation to move into a People Manager Role?

Actually, to become a people manager was a personal goal of mine right after I started my professional live. I like to work with people, support them to find new ways of doing things, be open-minded about new trends in technology, support them in their personal development and encourage them to go beyond their comfort zone.

It’s great when you can help people to achieve their individual goals or build up a team where people stand in for each other and team-up to get things done. This is what I’m passionate about and where I believe I can contribute beside my functional focus.

What is different in comparison to your old role now?

There are a couple of things:

  • Most and foremost: working with people (dealing with the product “HUMAN” – without any configuration and customizing options J)
  • Assuming responsibility for team member’s
  • Being asked for decisions covering a broad spectrum, that count, from day 1 after I took over
  • Getting things back on track to achieve the common goals which often requires a great portion of diplomacy

Is the development support SAP providing to familiarize yourself with the new tasks appropriate?

I am grateful for the support I got from my HR business partner, mentor and managers in my area. They helped me a lot to find my way through the first months and to gain speed in my new role.  The support, feedback and guidance form colleagues in different roles was just as well helpful for me.

Any recommendation you can share with colleagues who like to go for a People Manager Role as well?

If you like to become a People Manger take the opportunity if it’s there or lookout for it, but understand that you need to drive your career. Focus performance, promote collaboration and make a difference!

 

Jody LeBlanc, Development Manager, SAP CP Engineering Services, Vancouver

What’s your SAP background?

I started at SAP (Business Objects) as a student in 2004.  In 2006, after finishing school, I came back to SAP full time, and have held various DevOps-type roles over the last (almost) 12 years.  I’ve worked on internal tools development, reporting, database administration, project management, and also participated in fellowship and Social Sabbatical programs during my time at SAP.  Most recently, I have been a member of the Cloud Foundry Operations team.  Fun fact:  Prior to entering the IT industry I was a Forest Engineer.

What was your motivation to move into a People Manager Role?

I’ve had several opportunities that exposed me to management which I really enjoyed, including managing the interns on my team and filling in for my manager while he was on a fellowship.  I find it very motivating when the diverse strengths of individuals come together to create a successful team, and as a manager I get the chance to lead and coach this to happen.

What is different in comparison to your old role now?

As an individual contributor, my day-to-day was a lot more “doing”.  It’s an adjustment now to let go of that and focus more on leading others to get things done.

Is the development support SAP provided to familiarize yourself with the new tasks appropriate?

I had the opportunity last year to participate in the Prepare to Lead program, which was excellent – I would highly recommend it to anyone anticipating moving into a people management role in the near term.  Since moving into the role a few weeks ago, I’ve received a lot of onboarding support from my current manager which has been very helpful.  I’ve also just connected with a SAP Internal Coach, who I think will provide some very valuable support through this transition.

Any recommendation you can share with colleagues who like to go for a People Manager Role as well?

Sign up for opportunities that will give you a chance to try it out – you can determine if it’s really for you and at the same time develop some experience.  Make sure your manager is aware that this is your career goal, and they can support you in finding stretch assignments and opportunities to move into the role.

Nishtha Srivastava, Development Manager and Product Owner, SAP Cloud Platform Core, Bangalore

What’s your SAP background?

I have been with SAP for three years now. For the first few months I worked on new projects and after that I have been working on SAP Cloud Platform Core (Cloud Foundry) as Senior Developer and then as Product Owner. SAP Cloud Platform opened up a world of opportunities for me. It has been tremendous learning, challenging and demanding to work in the area of Cloud Platform, exciting at the same time.

What was your motivation to move into a People Manager Role?

I’ve been fortunate to have such inspiring and motivational leaders, managers and VP in SAP Cloud Platform. Who motivated me to take up leadership role (I prefer the word “leader” than “manager” as I believe it’s more about guiding and leading people than managing them J ). A leadership role would enable me to explore and build an inspiring vision for a team and lead the team to succeed in a smooth and efficient way.

What is different in comparison to your old role now?

I have taken on the role of Development Manager, and I am continuing in my role as Product Owner. So, to lead the team is new, but I am also able to stay involved in technology.

Is the development support SAP providing to familiarize yourself with the new tasks appropriate?

SAP provides full support to familiarize and take up this new role. There are onboarding sessions and many other sessions which help you get started and enough guidance through tutorials and other material which help you in doing the tasks efficiently.

Any recommendation you can share with colleagues who like to go for a People Manager Role as well?

It is interesting and also huge responsibility to be an example, to motivate and inspire others and bring out the best in them for achieving and delivering the vision. Explore this realm and go for it.

 

If you are interested in providing feedback, please approach Kathrin Kapp.

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