International Women’s day is a chance to reflect on the enormous contribution made by women to every inch of society. It’s an opportunity to applaud the strong and ever brave who have tackled the many hurdles or obstacles they face – and have sought out they are opportunities to learn, grow and become more resilient.
Over the years, it’s been this resilience that has enabled women across the world to break down barriers and forge their professional careers – though there is always more work to do.
Here at SAP Concur we have many, many women who demonstrate this attribute every single day. From young women, who are at the start of trailblazing careers to many working mothers in senior positions who are shaping the direction of our company.
While we celebrate the contribution that women have made to our organisation it is vital we also look at what we can do to enable female empowerment further afield. We are in a fortunate position as a technology company as we have the power, innovation and ability to further advance opportunities for millions of women in the workplace, both internally and beyond.
This means that we must continue to design, build and deliver solutions that can help businesses thrive but also include elements that can advance, protect and deliver female opportunities. More than that we must always ensure that female talent is given the opportunity to build and evolve this technology – something the entire tech sector must be better at.
Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities, yet trends indicate a growing gender digital divide and women are under-represented in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. It prevents them from developing and influencing gender-responsive innovations to achieve transformative gains for society. This is why it is vital that women's ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies – just ask Caroline Criado-Perez.
So, we wanted to celebrate this event with actions, not just words. This week, as part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, our UK office has been supporting a fantastic cause that is doing brilliant work to address this divide. Spin for Smart Works is a week-long cycling challenge that have seen 3 SAP Concur teams EACH cycle 500 miles (the equivalent distance between the seven Smart Works Centres three times), in a series of spin classes over the last week.
We have managed to raise £535 (and counting) so Smart Works can continue delivering their life-changing service and help more women with the confidence, self-belief and the practical tools they require to succeed at interviews and the start of a new chapter of their working lives.
It’s been a fantastic initiative, truly inspiring to watch and most of all a fantastic example of the resilience that has been so important in promoting – and that we must continue to promote – for professional female advancement, the world over.