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By Reka Ando, Tamara Barner, Nancy Callahan, Cristiana Grigore, Estelle Lagorce, Roxana Marcu, Heidi Viik

Why is the percentage of women in leadership increasing at some technology companies and not at others? The increase at SAP may provide part of the answer. First, the SAP Supervisory Board made a multi-year, public commitment to increase women in management to 25% by 2017. Second, the company invests in the development of women leaders through targeted training and experiential development.   Third, the company reports on progress down to the individual manager level.

We are the beneficiaries of SAP’s commitment as participants in SAP’s award winning Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program (LEAP), a yearlong targeted development journey focused on supporting women to achieve their career aspiration of rising into people management positions or reaching new levels of people leadership.

Each month, we address a specific topic such as “The Business of Leadership.” As part of this month’s work, we discussed Susan Calantuono’s Ted Talk The Career Advice You Probably Didn't Get, in which Susan identifies the three characteristics necessary for executive promotion: financial acumen, proven business understanding, and strategic thinking.   Through formal action plans and peer support we put into actions the lessons learned.

Because we want to share the benefits of this exceptional program and encourage both men and women who care deeply about this issue, we invite you to exchange information, insights and encouragement by using the hashtag: #SAPWomenLEAP.