How SAP is supporting women to re-enter the workforce

by John Hilton15 Dec 2016
SAP’s S.V.P. HR for the Asia Pacific Region talks to HC about how their Back-to-Work initiative works.
Why is diversity and inclusion integral to your company’s success?
Diversity and inclusion is critical for SAP’s long-term success to drive a culture of innovation, sustained growth and profitability. The rapid change of demographic trends, the markets we serve and the changes in our business model means that we innovate in much faster cycles than in the past. As a result, we must have the right mix of diverse talent and capabilities to support our customers and deliver on our business strategy.
How does your Back-to-Work in Australia initiative work?
Back-to-Work is an SAP Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) initiative. Our Regional President Adaire Fox-Martin launched Back-to-Work this year, initially in Japan and South Korea. Now we are very excited to bring it to Australia.
The programme supports professional women who are looking to re-enter the workforce after a career break by offering project-based assignments. It intentionally offers a high degree of flexibility – part-time or full-time, working onsite or virtually.
The types of roles vary depending on the business needs in each country – but we are looking to attract women from a range of professional backgrounds and successful candidates will be assigned to projects that complement their skills and experience.
The current opportunities available in Australia are on a full-time or part-time basis within corporate affairs and operations.
A project mentor will be on hand to guide participants and provide the support they need to integrate into the workplace.
Although there is no guarantee of full time employment after the completion of a project, participants may receive an offer of employment with SAP, subject to their performance and decision of the hiring managers.
 Why did you think it was necessary?
Professional women who have left the workforce to focus on personal commitments represent an untapped pool of talent. SAP sees its Back-to-Work initiative as an opportunity to help them back into the workforce and draw on their experience.
There is a massive brain drain in many industries and Back-to-Work is looking to stop the flow of talent leaving the workforce for good.
Do you think companies in general are not doing enough to get women back in the workforce?
Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) data shows “there is progress towards gender equality in Australian workplaces, but it is too slow.”
Last week SAP Australia was very proud to announce that we have again been awarded the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation.
We see the citation as crucial in ensuring SAP Australia as a diverse and inclusive employer. Programmes such as Back-to-Work help us achieve this.
We encourage all employers to strive for a diverse and inclusive workforce and experience the many benefits we have seen at SAP as a result.

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