今年六月，Ladies Who Tech向我们生命中的所有父亲与特殊的男性致敬。这些男性作为盟友，致力于与女性建立伙伴关系并挑战使女性处于不利地位的组织结构；推动公司内部的多元化和包容性，同时为战胜社会性别不平等做出巨大贡献。
Growing up, we learned that although our fathers weren't men of many words, their actions spoke volumes. From them, we learned what a selfless leader and ally is like: protective, supportive, patient and always giving.
This June, Ladies Who Tech is honoring all fathers and the special men in our lives, who have been incredible allies committed to building partnerships with women and challenging organizational structures that put women at a disadvantage. These men have driven diversity and inclusion within their companies while contributing significantly to the fight against gender inequality in society.
In the following weeks, we will be sharing the stories of such men – who are leading by example by enlisting themselves as champions of women's rights while inspiring those around them to do the same. We are proud to acknowledge and thank these inspiring male allies, at the same time heartened to see that we aren't alone on this journey.
化自己的优势为改变不平等的利器 Using his privilege for the greater good
本周，我们采访了欧洲最大的软件公司SAP的副总裁兼大中华区全球专业技术中心负责人Sebastien Denes。Sebastien领导SAP Premium engagement和专业服务的交付，专注于SAP顶级客户向智能企业的转型。该公司的管理方式为使用最新的技术，将灵感实时转化为业务行动。尖端战略因此加速了数据驱动的创新和流程自动化，启动新的商业模式，并提供了卓越的体验与更多。
This week, we sat down with Sebastien Denes, Vice President and Head of the Global Center of Expertise Greater China at SAP, Europe's largest software company. Sebastien leads the delivery of SAP Premium Engagements and Professional Services, focusing on enabling SAP top customers' transformation towards the Intelligent Enterprise, the company's management approach that uses the latest technologies to turn insight into action across the business in real time. As a result, the cutting-edge strategy accelerates data-driven innovation and process automation, launches new business models, delivers exceptional experiences, and more.
Nearing his 13th year at the company, Sebastien leads an impressive team of 400 software engineers, 38 per cent of whom are female. At the same time, through his long-term efforts as a champion of diversity and inclusion (D&I) at SAP, 40 per cent of his current management team are women. He was also the first SAP China manager to hire an employee on the autism spectrum.
"If you are going to drive inclusion in an organization, you need to be an inclusive leader and set the right example. I am a firm believer that with D&I, you get far more than you give," he told Ladies Who Tech.
Conversations about privilege are not easy. Identifying one's own advantages objectively can be just as difficult as raising the issue in the workplace, and using those advantages to help level the playing field for everyone is even more challenging. And that's exactly what Sebastien did – and more.
"I was born in the 'right' part of the world, with the 'right' skin color, the 'right' gender, the 'right' social class, the 'right' sexual orientation, the 'right' religion… That's a big set of privileges that was somehow given to me. That means, in 90 per cent of the case, the door is wide open for me. I just have to put in the work and I'll have a shot at success," he said.
"But for the majority of the people in this world, that is not the case," he said. "The door would remain closed regardless of the amount of effort they put in. So it's up to me to hold that door open for them. With all that privilege comes duty.”
勇于面对自己持有的偏见 The courage to face your own biases
It's not our fault that we hold unconscious biases, which are shaped by years of internalized experiences and our natural tendency to categorize. But it will be our fault if we refuse to acknowledge, identify and correct them.
In Sebastien's case, he noticed early on that he had the tendency to pay more attention to teammates who are more extroverted, which means opinions of those who are not as vocal could be left unheard.
He immediately took action to correct his behaviour: "I started to be more mindful of everyone in the room and trained myself to stop hogging the conversation and let others contribute. For example, in the past, my weekly management team meeting could turn into a discussion among the same colleagues. To change that, I decided to stop leading the meeting and came up with a roster to let different managers take the lead every week.”
"It was an 'aha' moment for me. Looking back, I'm glad that I was aware of the bias. As a leader, the most important thing is to remind yourself to give an opportunity to those who don't usually request it. It's not only the right thing to do but also immediately creates added value. This simple action will transform significantly the culture of the workplace and have a long-lasting impact," he said.
"As we meet more people in life, these biases would become clearer to us. Then, it's your choice to either ignore them or address them and make a difference. Being aware is already halfway through resolving the problem," he added.
Embodying gender equality in a meaningful way throughout corporate structure and identity is vital to the success of any company, Sebastien believes. A positive and inclusive culture is a competitive edge, and is essential to talent attraction, growth and retention.
"People have told me before that they've decided to join SAP because of our excellent gender equality policy. They've rejected offers with more money because they're happy here. We've received amazing customer feedback because they see our efforts in creating an appreciative and empathetic culture," he said.
为什么我们需要男性盟友 Why we need male allies
真正的盟友会倾听，共同创造机会，并建立个人品牌来承担责任和信任。《哈佛商业评论》（Harvard Business Review）将男性盟友定义为致力于与女性建立关系的优势群体成员，他们在自己的行为中尽可能少地表达性别歧视，理解自己因性别所被赋予的社会特权，并为解决工作和社会中的性别不平等问题做出积极努力。
在这方面，Sebastien目前在SAP领导着四个主要的多元化和包容性（D&I）项目，包括旨在雇佣自闭症谱系障碍内的工程师的“Autism at Work（工作中的自闭症群体）”项目；侧重于缩小性别薪酬差距，使女性担任领导和专家角色的“Gender Parity（性别平等）”；SAP广泛实施的一项正在进行的举措“LGBTQ+ inclusion（LGBTQ+包容性）”；以及工作场所灵活性与工作-生活的融合。
Real allies listen, co-create opportunities, and build a personal brand for accountability and trust. The Harvard Business Review defines male allies as members of an advantaged group committed to building relationships with women, expressing as little sexism in their own behavior as possible, understanding the social privilege conferred by their gender, and demonstrating active efforts to address gender inequities at work and in society.
Yet when a lot companies try to fix gender inequities, they often center their efforts solely on women, which isn't enough to bring about systematic change and could risk categorizing gender diversity as a women-only issue instead of a boarder topic. Moreover, women who try to create meaningful change on their own discover that they are too few in number within the company to produce the necessary impact.
Statistics show that when men are engaged in gender inclusion programs, 96 per cent of organizations see progress — compared to only 30 per cent of organizations where men are not involved.
The truth remains that the majority of senior leaders in today's business world are still men, putting them in the best position to influence cultural and organizational change. That is why men need to play their part to make gender equality a reality.
n that regard, Sebastien is currently leading four major D&I initiatives at SAP, including Autism at Work, which aims to hire engineers within the autism spectrum; Gender Parity, focusing on gender pay-gap reduction, women in leadership and in expert roles; LGBTQ+ inclusion, an on-going initiative widely implemented at SAP; and workplace flexibility and work-life integration for employees.
At home, Sebastien is also a role model for his three young boys – Alexandre, Gwennael and Lenaig – so that they can become empathetic and compassionate male allies like their father.
"My wife Roberta is doing an amazing job raising our sons and I really, really appreciate her. At the same time, we often discuss inclusive culture and values with our boys as we consider it a core part of their education," he said.
"Doing nothing in favour of gender equality equals to working against it"
SAP aims to become the most inclusive tech company in the world, Sebastien said. Their dedicated D&I team work tirelessly to make sure each SAP branch follows through their policies in accordance with local regulations while forming partnerships with authorities and social organizations. In short, a global framework is defined and localized, then constantly refined based on feedback from SAP's 100,000 employees.
"More companies are becoming more active in promoting gender equality and D&I. They're holding initiatives, events and conferences. That being said, this is far from enough and we know it. People are waiting for real progress," Sebastien said.
"Every company is now capable of measuring the gender pay-gap, percentage of women in the workforce, the percentage women in management and in expert roles, but few are taking real, meaningful actions to close that gap," he explained.
For companies that wish to take gender balance seriously, Sebastien says it's okay to start small, as long as you have passion and dedication.
"Get out there and seek support and collaboration from D&I communities around you and partner with them. Then get feedback, measure the impact, and refine the model based on local needs. With that, you'll be much better equipped to change existing policies or create new ones," he recommended.
This is exactly the approach Sebastien's team took when introducing a flexible working time agreement at SAP, which was having difficulty in retaining female talents in China. They first piloted the policy with a small group of managers and subsequently extended it to all departments. The feedback has been phenomenal.
Companies can also make clear and public commitments to engaging men as allies as part of their gender equality efforts, for example joining UN Women's #HeforShe Corporate Impact Champions; signing the UN's Women's Empowerment Principles; or meeting the global business certification standard for gender equality, EDGE.
"In reality doing nothing in favor of gender balance equals to working against it. The stage has been set, and now it's time to walk and show some tangible progress," Sebastien said.
值得明确的底线是，性别平等不是一个“女性问题”。Ladies Who Tech相信教育是赋权女性的引擎，也是女性未来成功的基础。我们希望，通过研讨会、年度大会与各种活动将女性纳入STEM话题中，企业与组织将受到鼓舞进而制定更多包括女性在内的变革政策。
The bottom line is, gender equality is not a "women's issue". At Ladies Who Tech, we believe education is an engine to women's empowerment and the foundation for a future of success. We hope that through connecting professionals in STEM through workshops, conventions and events, organizations will leave inspired to enact changes that are more inclusive of women.
This Father's Day month, let us express our gratitude to our amazing male allies who have made the battle for gender equality their duty and their priority. As we come together and stand as a united force, we shall keep challenging the status quo and look forward to building a better world of gender justice.
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