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Rise with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A global diversity survey from cloud provider Workday: budgets for these initiatives are increasing, but implementation is stalling due to a lack of data and business processes. Those responsible do not have the necessary data. Women@DSAG reports on this from the DACH region.
E-3 Magazine
February 8, 2023
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

DSAG e. V. and Workday: Strategic implementation stalls due to lack of data

In July and August of this year, the German-speaking SAP User Group also conducted another survey on the topic of "Diversity: just fashionable stuff or a sustainable management approach? Women from the IT industry and the SAP environment who are active in the Women@DSAG initiative took part. They were asked about their perceptions and practical experiences of how diversity is perceived and implemented in everyday working life, but also in society. When asked how diversity is implemented in their company, 42 percent responded with "room for improvement," only 19 percent of the women with "very good," 31 percent with "good," and 8 percent with "not at all."

Women@DSAG_Diversity survey
What does your company do very well when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion? (Source: DSAG.)

Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, released the results of a study in November of this year. This study shows that the majority of companies worldwide are investing in diversity (Diversity), equity (Equity) and inclusion (Inclusion). However, many either do not have appropriate data or are not using existing data effectively enough to drive their strategies and add business value.

The study, conducted by Workday and Sapio Research, was implemented in 23 countries and found that positive progress has been made. However, it also revealed areas with significant room for improvement, including the need to measure business impact and use data to track progress more effectively.

The survey found that despite the current global economic climate, the majority of respondents noted an increase in dedicated diversity and inclusion roles in their companies, while expecting to increase or maintain current levels of investment in these initiatives over the next fiscal year.

Gender-appropriate communication

The SAP user group asked in detail about the individual measures, see also graphic. Gender-appropriate and diverse communications are seen by 35 percent of those surveyed by DSAG in their companies, followed by approval of intercultural offerings (23 percent) and special advancement measures for women (22 percent), as well as diversity training (13 percent) and job rotations (7 percent). Some of the respondents did not give any answers. These statements show how diverse the topic is and that it triggers a wide range of emotions and reactions. Franziska Niebauer, a member of the Women@DSAG core team, sees it exactly the same way: "In our globalized world, there should no longer be any need to discuss the relevance or raison d'être of the topic.

There are companies that celebrate diversity externally as a message and a value, but unfortunately have a fairly homogeneous set-up in their own corporate structure. And it is precisely here that I see the danger of diversity becoming a fad, a popular and prominent topic of discussion. And then serves corporate branding and is only supposed to pave the way to new female customers, clients and employees, instead of finally being implemented in the minds and corporate structures. In my opinion, it's about finding a consensus for diversity and equality with all stakeholders: Because every project success depends on the inclusion of all stakeholders. That's how I see it when it comes to diversity."

Franziska Niebauer, Jutta Gimpel, Karin Gräslund
(From left) Franziska Niebauer, member of the Women@DSAG core team, emphasizes the social relevance; Jutta Gimpel is also part of the DSAG core team and focuses on diversity as well as inclusion; Professor Karin Gräslund is a member of the DSAG board and runs the initiative with a lot of passion.

Diversity and inclusion

While the majority of companies now have some sort of strategic approach to diversity and inclusion, 39 percent of global respondents said one does not currently exist, making it difficult to define and achieve goals, Workday noted. Another key reason for the lack of a strategic approach is data and reporting, with only 20 percent of respondents measuring the business impact and value of diversity and inclusion initiatives. Sixty percent also said tracking progress was challenging and required new systems and software to fully support diversity and inclusion strategy and implementation.

For Jutta Gimpel, also a member of the DSAG core team, the relevance of the topic is beyond question. However, she currently feels well seen and taken care of in her professional environment: "In my company, there are numerous activities for more diversity, such as the Diversity Week, the female engineers' meeting, the queer group or also the representation of severely disabled persons. Additional measures for inclusion, an in-house daycare center, support from a company-independent group in all life situations, and the promotion of women in management positions are also in place. Even smaller measures such as a diverse menu in the canteen for vegetarian and vegan food as well as food from all over the world exist.

All in all, for a few years now I've had the feeling that people are listening and are increasingly aware that people are different, that diversity is important for the company, and that concrete measures are resulting from this. But diversity doesn't happen by itself; you have to do something about it and be open to diversity yourself. And even though women have started to bring the topic into the public eye, more and more groups are now joining in and are also very active."

Global HR/HCM study

The global diversity survey was conducted by Sapio Research and Workday in 23 countries among more than 3,100 HR professionals and leaders with responsibility for diversity initiatives within their organizations. In support of its Belonging and Diversity Program and its commitment to Value Inclu-sion, Belonging and Equity, Workday helps HR leaders with solutions to advance their workplace belonging and diversity efforts. 

To provide a holistic view of the employee experience across the organization, Workday Peakon Employee Voice provides organizations with real-time insights into data on employee engagement, sentiment, productivity, well-being, diversity and inclusion, and transformation and change. The active listening approach provides continuous insights on how to maximize engagement, productivity, and business performance by actively listening to employees, identifying key action items, and taking rapid action.

The VIBE Index enables organizations to measure and compare equality, diversity and inclusion to achieve parity and equity. It measures the relative performance and results of an organization's efforts in the areas of talent acquisition, talent development, leadership development, employee experience, and workplace culture to create a heat map of where the greatest opportunities for positive change exist, as well as a VIBE Index score for overall workplace equity.

Empathy and loyalty

VIBE Central aggregates diversity and inclusion data in one central location in Workday Human Capital Management, enabling organizations to set goals and monitor progress against those goals. Organizations can assess, measure, compare, and manage diversity based on the dimensions they choose.

In conclusion, Karin Gräslund, the face of the Women@DSAG initiative in Germany, says: "In the meantime, there are scientific approaches that, for example, want to find out or determine what counts as successful leadership on the basis of many years of data collection and evaluation. Surprisingly, it is often attributed to women because their leadership is empathetically characterized by loyalty and takes place at eye level. The fact that so few women are nevertheless found at the C-levels will be explained argumentatively with their help."

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