We often hear the words “diversity” and “inclusion” spoken together, but have we asked ourselves why that is? Is it a cause-and-effect type of relationship where one leads to the other, and if so, which comes first? Or is it a symbiotic relationship where one can’t function or blossom without the other?
While you ponder these questions, let me share with you a case study from our very own SAP Mentors program (and follow that up with a couple of opportunities for you to make a difference).
As you know, this program of community advocates and technologists celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. The topic of diversity comes up regularly in SAP Mentor conversations, so much so that we have created a “Mentor Mix” initiative to monitor and make sure we have the right amount of SAP HANA experts versus ABAP experts, and that we have enough coverage in different parts of the world. However, diversity is more, and therefore our Mix needs to be more. A YouTube comment to our SAP Mentors documentary video highlights this:
Furthermore, a challenge from SAP CTO Bjoern Goerke (issued over Twitter, no less) encouraged us to define other criteria and put down numbers:
Diversity and inclusion is all I see whenever I speak to any of the SAP Mentors or see photos from events, like this recent tweet from SAP Mentor Graham Robinson at the Mastering SAP event in Australia:
However, the scorecard above says we have more work to do when it comes to diversity, and can do better.
I totally agree with a recent quote from SAP Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Anka Wittenberg: “By moving beyond a compliance-based approach to an inclusive culture where different groups of people are interacting on a regular basis, we can tap the best that diversity offers to fuel innovation, enhance engagement with customers, and drive success in a digital world.”
I especially agree with all the great things that diversity brings, but have a hard time reconciling why our “mix” is not yet diverse, when our group’s culture is already so inclusive and welcoming. Which brings me back to my original questions, and my own answer about this relationship. I have concluded that inclusion itself does not guarantee diversity, any more than diversity will result in inclusion. They indeed have a symbiotic relationship, and to have one is an opportunity to reap the rewards of the other. In the case of the SAP Mentors, we need to deliberately lead change in order to see change in diversity.
This is where you come in:
- Help us meet our diversity goal. In addition to nominating active community contributors who have the right attitude and aptitude to be SAP Mentors, please also nominate candidates who stand out but don’t exactly fit into to the usual SAP mold. Yes, we’re talking about assortment too – females, young talent, and business-oriented folks. We’ll take care of the inclusion part.
- Join our upcoming SAP Community call on April 9, where Stephanie Redivo, Moya Watson, Hana Nagel, and I will kick off the conversation about the important part that diversity and inclusion play in our technology community.
Do you have a similar or different opinion about diversity and inclusion?
Jason Cao is the SAP Mentors program lead.