SAP Ariba Live 2018: The Stark Truth About Workplace Diversity and What We Can Do About It

Driven by a whirlwind of breaking news on all fronts, workplace diversity is breaking free from the confines of human resources to confront business with some stark truths and a mandate for lasting change. With SAP Ariba Live less than two weeks away, I reached out to Chief Marketing Officer Tifenn Dano Kwan for her thoughts on what’s going on and why.

SAP Ariba CMO Tifenn Dano Kwan said companies have to embrace diversity for the right reasons.

“An empowerment movement is happening outside of the workplace that’s taking the world by storm,” said Kwan. “People are breaking free of bias and traditional ways of thinking, and society is evolving.  We are seeing this front and center in the business world where diversity is no longer just an HR topic, but something that deeply impacts all of us in our personal and professional lives.”

Diversity Is Good Business

Innovation in a hyper-competitive world requires diversity, making it a strong differentiator.

“Businesses have to embrace diversity for the right reasons. Studies prove the best ideas don’t come from homogeneous teams, but rather diverse groups with different backgrounds who think differently. That’s what sparks innovation,” said Kwan.

Studies prove diversity sparks innovation — diverse groups with different backgrounds who think differently

SAP Ariba Forum Provokes Action

The expansion of the renowned Women in Leadership luncheon at SAP Ariba Live reflects the larger trends playing out across the business landscape. Now called the “Diversity and Leadership Forum,” the insightful track is designed to provoke conversations that lead to action. It includes the following sessions:

  • Diversity and Leadership Lunch: Surfacing Unconscious Bias
    Top experts share insights and stories of success, including best-selling author, acclaimed speaker and worldwide advocate, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, and Anka Wittenberg, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Head of People Sustainability at SAP.
  • Leadership of the Future in Procurement: Get Ready!
    Panelists explore three of the six key concepts in Marshall Goldsmith’s vision of leadership of the future: cross-cultural appreciation, technology savviness, and shared leadership.
  • Advocacy in Action: An Invitation for Men to Support Gender Equality
    How men and women can take an active role in advocating for gender equality by providing actionable ideas for driving change both individually and in the workplace.
  • Business with Purpose: Small Changes, Big Impact — How to Commit to Action
    This interactive session explores a method that reveals unconscious bias at work and how perceptions of social groups shape our judgements about people’s character, abilities, and potential.

Procurement Isn’t Just About How Much You Spend

As the front line to a company’s suppliers, Kwan thinks people in procurement can make a tremendous difference when it comes to diversity.

“People in procurement can decide to build diverse, ethical supply chains, using the power of the Ariba Network to connect with woman-owned, LGBTQ and minority suppliers and drive changes that make a difference for their organizations and the world,” said Kwan.And this is what we are hoping to inspire them to do.”

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