Elevating Diversity & Inclusion: Key Tactics for Success (2024)

In today’s corporate landscape, promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I) is not just about meeting quotas – it is about harnessing the full potential of every individual. The Business Women’s Network (BWN) from SAP exemplifies this rationale, employing a multifaceted approach leveraging the power SAP technologies to drive tangible results.

Here are five key focus areas and tactics that support the success of BWN’s D&I program.

Empower Employee Engagement

Organizations can promote employee engagement to advance their D&I strategies by cultivating a culture of inclusivity and belonging, providing opportunities for employee input and participation in decision-making processes, offering D&I training and education, and creating affinity groups or employee resource groups to support underrepresented voices. Additionally, organizations can establish mentorship programs, career development opportunities, and leadership roles for diverse employees to promote their growth and advancement within the company.

Central to BWN’s mission is building and maintaining a vibrant community of engaged members. Through a diverse array of chapter events and initiatives, highlighted in its annual report, BWN facilitates networking, knowledge sharing, and skills development opportunities. By organizing over 543 chapter events globally in 2023, BWN has successfully engaged over 19,000 members, driving robust engagement across the organization. This effort not only amplifies the voices of women and our allies but also cultivates a culture of inclusivity and collaboration. This is highly valued by Supriya Jha, chief diversity & inclusion officer at SAP: “The Business Women’s Network has accelerated SAP’s journey toward its gender parity goal, which is a high priority within our overarching diversity and inclusion strategy. What makes BWN’s contributions to gender equality so impactful is its focus on business outcomes and elevation of SAP as a responsible organization that drives positive change and opportunities for all.”

Leverage SAP Technology to Achieve KPIs

SAP can help organizations advance their D&I strategies by providing tools and applications that can enable organizations to track and measure diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, such as employee demographics and compensation data. Our solutions also help identify areas for improvement, create inclusive workplace cultures, and promote awareness and education on D&I topics. Additionally, SAP solutions can help organizations develop and implement D&I policies and initiatives, as well as build a listening program that collects feedback from employees in the flow of work, enabling them to monitor progress and report on their D&I goals and outcomes.

It’s time to run a world where our differences are celebrated, equity is fostered, and everyone belongs

BWN strategically utilizes SAP solutions to help streamline operations and achieve key performance indicators (KPIs). Leveraging SAP Fiori apps, BWN can simplify the membership onboarding process, helping to ensure a seamless experience for new members. SAP Datasphere enables the creation of a robust analytics dashboard, providing valuable insights into member engagement and program effectiveness. With SAP SuccessFactors HCM, BWN gains access to comprehensive member data, facilitating targeted career development initiatives. Moreover, SAP employee experience management solutions by Qualtrics empowers BWN to understand key drivers of employee engagement, including D&I, to improve employee experience through data-driven insights and action planning.

To truly make opportunities meaningful for everyone, employees need to be skilled and ready for increasingly demanding roles and growth. That is why an organization’s D&I programs must include targeted programs to support the advancement of skills, especially for underrepresented groups, as well as create a culture that values and supports diversity in leadership positions. To enable this reality, organizations must implement inclusive recruitment and promotion practices, set diversity goals, and provide resources for employees to learn about distinct cultures and perspectives.

BWN’s efforts are an outstanding illustration of this commitment, as it strives to advance the careers of its members through mentorship and professional development initiatives. With over 55% of members participating in mentorship programs, BWN empowers individuals to reach their full potential. By providing access to role-specific data and development plans through SAP SuccessFactors HCM, BWN facilitates personalized career growth opportunities, contributing to a more diverse and skilled workforce.

Foster Allyship and Partnerships

To achieve gender parity, we must view it as a collective effort. Organizations play a crucial role in encouraging allyship and forming partnerships to advance D&I strategies. Leveraging online platforms and communication tools can bridge geographical gaps, connecting employees and facilitating open dialogues about diversity and inclusion. Training and resources on allyship, unconscious bias, and inclusive leadership allow employees to gain a deeper understanding of D&I issues. Equally vital is the need for organizations to learn from peers and other industries players’ best practices related to D&I.

Recognizing the importance of allyship and collaboration, BWN actively engages male allies, partners, and customers to drive meaningful change. With 13.5% of its membership comprising of men – a 4% increase since 2022 – BWN cultivates a culture of inclusivity and mutual support. Moreover, through collaborative events with other Employee Network Groups and internal SAP groups, BWN promotes intersectionality and solidarity within the organization, amplifying its impact beyond borders.

Use AI to Break Bias

Recognizing the inherent biases that can impede progress, organizations must harness the power of AI to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all employees. AI offers numerous avenues for breaking bias within organizations. A notable example is the implementation of AI-driven recruitment and promotion processes, which minimize unconscious biases, allowing talent to shine irrespective of gender or background. It is also possible to standardize the interview process, reducing bias by providing structured questions and evaluation criteria. Anonymized decision-making, facilitated by AI, removes identifying information from candidate profiles, preventing unconscious biases from influencing outcomes. Through the responsible and ethical use of AI technology, organizations can leverage its capabilities to create fairer and more equitable workplaces where diversity thrives. This approach not only promotes inclusivity but also enhances the quality of decision-making, leading to a more diverse and innovative workforce.

By embracing these key focus areas and tactics, BWN continues to inspire change, create opportunities, and thrive together, driving SAP’s success and building a more equitable future for all. This is supported by its recent awards, including the prestigious 20th annual Stevie® Silver Awards for Women in Business for Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women, which is a testament to the exceptional efforts and contributions made by BWN in advancing gender equality and promoting women’s leadership within SAP, and the ERG Impact Award honorable mention, which recognizes the outstanding contributions and influence of employee resource groups (ERGs) in driving positive organizational change and promoting an inclusive workplace culture.

BWN’s commitment to diversity and inclusion sets a benchmark for excellence in the corporate world. Together, we elevate possibilities and inspire realities, paving the way for a more inclusive and prosperous future.

Mayara Alves Tabone is global product marketing specialist at SAP SuccessFactors and BWN global communications director.

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Tags: Business Women's NetworkDiversity at SAPDiversity, Equity, and InclusionEmployee EngagementEmployee ExperienceEmployee Network GroupsWomen at SAP

Elevating Diversity & Inclusion: Key Tactics for Success (2024)


How to answer diversity and inclusion interview questions? ›

When you're asked about diversity and inclusion, try to give specific examples from your own experiences. This could be about times when you worked well with people who were different from you, or how you helped make everyone feel included.

What is key to achieving success in diversity initiatives? ›

The most crucial step to successful diversity retention is to formalize the program, complete with a staff, budget and results metrics. Only then will you be able to adequately plan, track and measure its progress and effectiveness.

How to measure success in diversity and inclusion? ›

Several ways to measure DEI include tracking demographic data, analyzing employee engagement and satisfaction, and implementing specific metrics to assess racial equity and inclusion progress.

How do you write a good diversity and inclusion statement? ›

Tips to write an effective Diversity Statement

If you have overcome obstacles to get to where you are, point those out. Focus on commonly accepted understandings of diversity and equity. Concentrate on issues such as race, gender, social class, and sexual orientation. Avoid false parallels.

How to answer how will you contribute to diversity? ›

How to answer 'contributing to diversity' essays?
  1. Reflect on your personal experiences and background. ...
  2. Consider not only what makes you diverse but also how your diversity can positively impact the school community. ...
  3. Focus on specific examples. ...
  4. Be authentic and honest in your response. ...
  5. Show growth and self-awareness.
Jan 9, 2024

How do you define success in diversity and inclusion? ›

The Diversity and Inclusion Success Factor describes behaviors that lead to an environment where all people are included, respected, and can engage in their work to the best of their abilities. In a general sense, it is a measure of respect and professionalism.

What are the keys to developing a successful diversity program? ›

Diversity programs are managed differently at every organization and may include the following:
  • Diversity training and education.
  • Skill-based tests for potential hires.
  • Outreach programs.
  • Grievance procedures that let workers challenge decisions.
  • Data collection and audits.

What makes a good diversity and inclusion program? ›

What Are the Principles of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace? Creating an inclusive workplace culture involves embracing key diversity principles, such as treating people with respect and dignity, valuing differences and diversity, eliminating unfair barriers, and making judgments based on equity and merit.

What is the strategy for diversity and inclusion? ›

Focus on creating an atmosphere that allows people to share ideas, problems and solutions openly. Take the time to understand each individual as a person and how they work best. Diversity and inclusion can ultimately come to reinforce each other synergistically.

What is the key to managing diversity effectively? ›

Managing diversity means acknowledging people's differences and recognizing these differences as valuable; it enhances good management practices by preventing discrimination and promoting inclusiveness. Good management alone will not necessarily help you work effectively with a diverse workforce.

How can we achieve diversity and inclusion? ›

  1. 8 Ways to Improve Diversity in the Workplace. ...
  2. Address Unconscious Bias. ...
  3. Extend DEI to the Hiring Process. ...
  4. Acknowledge Intersectionality and Cultural Diversity. ...
  5. Embrace Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) ...
  6. Invest in Mentorship Programs. ...
  7. Use Employee Surveys for Feedback. ...
  8. Mix Up Teams.
Mar 11, 2024

What is the best example of diversity at the workplace? ›

Gender is a prime example of diversity in the workplace. It was once thought that men were the primary breadwinners while the women stayed home and kept the house and raised the children. But in the modern world, women are forging their own career paths.

How can I contribute to diversity and inclusion? ›

Actively engage in the diversity effort. You can take part in or start an Employee Resource Group, or volunteer to chair or serve on committees that organize diversity- related events and activities. Consider becoming a mentor, mentee, or part of a co- mentoring relationship.

What is an example of diversity and inclusion? ›

It includes avoiding gendered terms (e.g., guys or paternal leave), being mindful of cultural differences, and using inclusive greetings, for example, “Hello all” instead of “Dear Sir/Madam.”

How do you respond to diversity and inclusion in the workplace? ›

Take the time to learn about different cultures, races, religions and backgrounds represented by your colleagues. Ask your coworkers to share some of the customs and practices associated with their cultures. Become familiar with diversity-related terms and, if you err, apologize and ask for help.

How do you talk about diversity and inclusion at work? ›

10 Tips on Facilitating Diversity Conversations in the Workplace
  1. Set the stage. ...
  2. Establish discussion guidelines. ...
  3. Make the conversation a brainstorming session. ...
  4. Expect different viewpoints and encourage humility. ...
  5. “Listen more than you speak.” ...
  6. Encourage a lot of diversity and inclusion discussion questions.

How have you demonstrated your commitment to inclusion & diversity? ›

Demonstrating commitment to workplace diversity involves actively listening and learning from those with diverse backgrounds. Engage in meaningful conversations with colleagues, clients, or mentors, seeking insights and stories. Participate in events and networks promoting diversity in your industry.

How do you explain diversity and inclusion? ›

In a nutshell, it's about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.

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