The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #pressforprogress, which encourages us to think about the very real struggles around gender diversity, like obvious pay disparities and the lack of representation in leadership roles that still exists today. However, we should also treat this day as a celebration – not only of the progress we’ve made towards achieving equality but also of the everyday ways that women work to advance their own careers and aspirations, and the way they encourage progress for others.
With that in mind, SAP invited some of our own employees to share their thoughts on how to inspire and encourage businesses to embrace diversity and overcome barriers. The following represent some of the ways SAP employees are living the theme of #pressforprogress:
Bring Your Own Self to Work
“Bringing my real self means to be open with my colleagues about my personal life, my ambitions, plans for the future and values without worrying I will be judged or criticized.” Lee Gazit, Education Senior Executive, SAP Education
“For me, it’s important to always be yourself and bring that to work, people will trust and respect you for it.” Leila Romane, Head of Cloud, SAP UKI
Hire the best candidate
“Diversity is the innovation engine. Our very strong focus on diversity and inclusion has not only led to a more inclusive culture at SAP, but allows us to better serve an increasingly diverse customer base, attract and retain talent, and compete in a rapidly-changing global economy” Adaire Fox–Martin, Executive Board Member, SAP
“SAP is and has always been open to ideas, opinions and perspectives from its employees coming from diverse cultures, ethnicities, genders or sexual orientations, with a conviction that this is key to its success as a company and to deliver real value to its employees, its customers and to society”. Tom Loeffert, Human Resource Director, SAP UK
“Women need to be strong, dedicated and focused. Achievement is about self-confidence and marking high goals for yourself” Lee Gazit, Education Senior Executive, SAP Education
“For me it’s about celebrating the things that make us different because they make us special, stand out, be remembered. Who wants to be the same as everyone else?” Magali Glover, Head of SAP UKI Alliances, Channels and Partners at SAP UKI
Creating a Culture of Openness
“SAP aims to hire 650 employees with autism by 2020, it has its own Business Women’s Network with more than 10,000 members, its employees represent 150 different nationalities worldwide and it was the first tech company to be awarded the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality certification. If that doesn’t illustrate a culture for openness and commitment to diversity and inclusivity then I’m not sure what does” Sindhu Gangadharan, Vice President and Head of Product Management, SAP HANA Cloud Integration
“Progress means that by the time my daughters get to work gender equality will be a non-issue. We are making great progress but there is a way to go” Phil Davies, Head of Solutions Consulting, SVP EMEA North, SAP
“Progress to me is that women have 50% of positions of leadership, of all positions, that we raise and educate boys and girls to believe that they can truly become anything, despite historical gender roles.” Tom Loeffert, Human Resource Director, SAP UK
Seeing what others around the business had to say about this topic was heartening. And these are just a handful of the things I see and hear daily. SAP is a business that is centred on lifting individuals up, with the support of their colleagues, networks and allies. Real change is driven at grassroots level and seeing so many people backing the fight for gender equality is something that I find truly inspiring.