Building diversity from the ground up
The IT sector has been renowned over the past couple of years for talent shortages. Not surprisingly this is a key concern for Kristy. SAP has a talent acquisition team charged mapping the talent market, and understanding the potential talent out there. “We have a strategic sourcing strategy, where we build a pipeline of candidates,” Christy explains. “We build a long term relationship with the candidate, so whether they’re ready now or not we continue to follow up with them and alert them to possibilities down the track.”
Related to that is diversity. Although SAP has a strong focus on women in leadership, and globally there is a goal to have women holding 25% of management roles by 2017, Christy notes there is a wider problem: there are simply not enough women considering or entering the IT profession. At present Christy is talking with regional HQ about having a dedicated resource for finding female talent in the market. SAP has also engaged with UNSW to sponsor a business information technology degree.
“We met with a rep from UNSW last year and they have a relatively high ratio of females in that degree but we were talking more generally that it is tough to get women into the IT/computer science area. For me the education needs to start not just at university level but also in schools. We need to be educating children and teenagers about the opportunities available in IT.”
With so much on her plate, it’s surprising to learn that Christy has set an ambitious goal for 2013: she wants SAP to be recognised as a best employer. To that end, she will be entering into the BRW Best Places to Work study next year. Internally she’s set a goal in the annual pulse check survey of raising engagement by 5%.
“We’re hoping some of the work we do this year around employee programs and building a place where people enjoy working will result in some accolades and recognition. I think we have a good brand but as more competition emerges we can’t take our eye off the ball,” she says.