Today is an exciting day for SAP North America. For the first time in our company’s history, we have been named one of the Best Workplaces for Women by Great Place to Work® and Fortune, coming in at #21.
This is a particularly special recognition for us. We have made it our mission at SAP to build a culture that is inclusive of all, particularly during a time where headlines of discriminatory practices and glass ceilings are commonplace. We have built a culture that encourages people to bring their best each and every day. We are all encouraged to take risks, to approach problems in our own unique way, no matter our gender, physical abilities, sexual orientation, or race. A culture that, in my view, is the driving force behind the innovation that sets us apart from our competition and creates customers for life.
We earned this prestigious honor based on input from a cross-section of female SAP employees. We are the ones who declared that SAP has a phenomenal workplace, with ethical leadership, respectful and fair workplace interactions, great benefits and development, and strong caring and personal support. It was our input that led Fortune and Great Place to Work to determine that SAP is creating a great workplace for women at all levels and roles in the organization.
But this recognition wasn’t earned overnight. As a company, we’ve worked hard over the years to advance gender equality in the workplace. Credit is due to our leadership for investing in programs to promote inclusivity, but also to our employees – male and female – for their support of these programs and their commitment to one another.
Here are just a few of the milestones we’ve reached on the way to today’s award:
- We’ve taken steps to close the gender pay gap. SAP America conducted an internal pay equity study of its U.S.-based employees. The study found that 99 percent of employees were paid equally, and SAP made upward pay adjustments to the 1 percent who were not.
- Met our board-level commitment to reach 25 percent women in management positions globally in July 2017, six months ahead of schedule. Women currently make up more than 32 percent of SAP’s global workforce and, in North America, women currently make up 33.6 percent of the workforce and 30 percent of all leadership positions.
- Celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Business Women’s Network, an organization with a strong influence and voice within SAP. The BWN now has 60 chapters and over 10,000 members globally, is inclusive of both men and women, and coordinates networking learning events for all employees.
- Advanced additional initiatives to support women at SAP, including the Women’s Professional Growth Webinar series, the Women@SAP online community, and the Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program (LEAP), an award-winning development program that helps prepare high-potential women for leadership roles at SAP.
- Became an inaugural signatory of the White House Tech Inclusion Pledge, not just to showcase SAP’s commitment to diversity but to bring awareness to the fact that diversity positively influences innovation and the bottom line.
- Introduced Business Beyond Bias, a comprehensive, highly integrated company-wide initiative focused on SAP’s leadership and commitment to eliminate bias and drive inclusive cultures for better business results, starting with our own company.
- Became the first technology company in the United States to be awarded the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certificate, a leading global standard for gender equality in the workplace recognized across all industries.
- Forged a partnership with UN Women to promote the advancement of women and girls as next generation digital innovators. The collaboration was inaugurated this week with the first UN Women Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Forum at the SAP Leonardo Center New York.
As a global technology leader with an award-winning culture of inclusion, SAP is setting the example for what a workplace should look like and how it should act. I am very proud of this journey we are on together, and I can think of no better group of people to work alongside as we continue to lead the way.
Alicia Tillman is chief marketing officer at SAP