How SAP is creating diversity in the workplace

by Arun Shankar   21 March, 2017
How SAP is creating diversity in the workplace

Claire McPeak is Director of Communications at SAP MENA.

SAP’s global Business Women’s Network provides an employee-driven network that shares professional insights, best practices, education and experience to help one another develop skills and career advancing opportunities is one of SAP’s many initiatives. Recently launched is the SAP UAE chapter of the Business Women’s Network with the executive sponsorship of Tayfun Topkoc, Managing Director of SAP UAE, who is a strong supporter of women career advancement in the company.

SAP recognised back in 2007, with the launch of the first Business Women’s network, the strength of diverse leadership capabilities and fostering an inclusive culture. “I am proud to be working for a company that openly supports the need to work together to overcome gender bias and believes that diversity in leadership makes us a stronger, more innovative company,” says Claire McPeak, Director of Communications at SAP MENA.

“After more than 17 years with SAP, with a career journey expanding three continents I continue to learn and grow and most importantly am proud to see how SAP’s culture transcends on a regional and local level while embracing cultural differences. It speaks volumes when a company like SAP has a learning culture with initiatives where everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner.”

 

Mentorship, coaching, and leadership rotation programmes form part of several programmes that SAP offers both on a global and regional level to help empower women executives. Attracting and developing SAP’s next generation of leaders is evident across the organisation. Mentorship programmes deliver an active approach where women employees are encouraged to find a mentor often among a list of volunteer executives within the region or across the SAP globe.

As a member of the SAP Global Corporate Affairs business area, there is a strong mentorship programme in place where colleagues are encouraged to connect to learn and grow. SAP in the Middle East was recently recognised as amongst the top employers by various institutions.

Fast-tracking career progression for women starts from the top, when you have senior management recognising the benefit of gender diversity to grow the company and encourage programmes and initiatives to attract, develop, and retain women talent, this approach transcends and forms part of our culture today.

“We still have a way to go, but honestly, we believe that SAP is setting the right direction and continually reviews programmes and initiatives that are cascaded to the local country levels,” adds Claire. “I was privileged to be selected in 2016 to take part in the launch of the EMEA Executive Global Leadership Programme, a yearlong programme that brought together women leaders across diverse business areas to support our professional growth at SAP.”

The Leadership Excellence Acceleration Programme for Women at SAP, won top honors, Gold in the Excellence in Leadership Development category at the 2015 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards. The programme empowers women and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit when considering one’s own SAP career development.

Global Human Resources cascades monthly leadership communications to all mangers to encourage key actions to be taken as a leader, with a focus on developing amazing talent and growth opportunities as a leader, for example gaining experience with easy online learning scenarios.

By 2020, analysts are attesting that 50% of the workforce will be Millennials. SAP has invested in several programmes to encourage gender diversity inclusion in our Early Talent programmes and Sales Academies to drive innovation and future leaders. The Middle East has a young population, and a very talented pool of women, to tap into. SAP is fostering and onboarding women across the region.

SAP offers an opportunity for employees to continue their education opportunities through a programme called Resources to Increase Skills and Education. RISE provides financial assistance for approved educational programmes, including academic degree programmes, professional certifications, and coursework. SAP encourages employees to further their education through job-related coursework and expand their knowledge and skills in preparation for future roles and new responsibilities.

SAP Human Resources has rolled out numerous programmes, as well as development roadmaps, to support all leaders to improve their mindset and capabilities to better accelerate business performance, ensure customer success, drive simplicity, and develop amazing talent. SAP Human Resources has numerous gender diversity programmes encouraging women to take on careers in IT and development.


Key takeaways

  • Fast-tracking career progression for women starts from the top when you have senior management recognising the benefit of gender diversity to grow the company
  • It speaks volumes when a company like SAP has a learning culture with initiatives where everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner
  • Mentorship, coaching, leadership rotation programmes form part of several programmes that SAP offers to help empower women executives
  • RISE provides financial assistance for approved educational programmes, including academic degree programmes, professional certifications, and coursework
  • Recently launched is the SAP UAE chapter of the Business Women Network with the executive sponsorship of Tayfun Topkoc Managing Director of SAP UAE
  • SAP recognised in 2007 with the launch of the first Business Women’s network the strength of diverse leadership capabilities and fostering an inclusive culture

Forward looking thinking and an inclusive value system is driving diversity in the SAP workplace describes Claire McPeak at SAP MENA.


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