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It is on a Wednesday morning, just before lunch time, that I am heading to a meeting at the SAP office in Singapore. As the meeting invitation proposed, I am wearing a dress in a single matte colour, not too bright and no striking patterns. In my purse I am bringing my make-up and some cash.

This is not going to be a normal meeting. Today, I am having a professional photo shot taken.

At an SAP office you might ask? Yes, at the SAP office in Singapore!

I booked a slot at Photography for a Cause, an initiative by the Business Women’s Network @ SAP Singapore & the SAP Photography Community, with the key intent of helping the BWN members and other SAP colleagues build their brand and professional profile, while supporting the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

After the payment of the donation, it starts with the volunteer make-up artist, who is doing a touch up of my face and hair. Then I am meeting the three photographers, each shooting pictures of me in different settings. One is kind of a studio shot, one with a landscape in the background and one featuring the SAP logo next to me.

Shortly after the pictures are taken, I can select three shots out of the pool. Not an easy decision, as the photographs are really good. After a final retouch I am getting the pictures in soft copy format for my professional profile.

I am really happy about it. At last, I have professional corporate pictures of myself.  Many times I was in the need of a portrait. But I never went the extra mile to find a good studio, not too pricy of course, and to make room in my schedule for the actual shooting. Therefore the initiative was a perfect fit for me. But not only for me, several SAP colleagues made use of this event, uploading their latest photographs onto their SAP address books and LinkedIn profiles. These included people across various roles and lines of business: Sybase, Service, Sales, Presales, VP and senior executives. Estimated 60% of the participants were females.

The initiative was a truly collaborative effort toward a good cause. The first target for Photography for a Cause was around SGD 5000. At the end the BWN raised a total of SGD 25,000 for the Singapore Children’s Cancer Foundation. This will help the foundation set up their new learning centre called Place for Academic Learning and Support (PALS) to help children and youths with cancer with their transition back to school.

Another qualitative aspect was the good visibility built for BWN as we saw women joining our BWN community after the session.

The effort was also recognized by Adaire Fox-Martin, at that time the COO of APJ, now president. Adaire presented the Photography for a Cause team with tokens of appreciation on behalf of SAP. 

Of course this wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of the internal colleagues who volunteered their skills, efforts and time as photographers, make-up artists and in providing overall support in organizing the event. And especially not without the volunteer lead Shafida B, member of the BWN core team in Singapore, who did an outstanding job.