Phyllis Stewart Pires– Vice President, Global Head of Diversity at SAP, a leader in the business software industry, with offices in over 80 countries- reflects on industry-specific global diversity challenges.

Approximately 80% of our workforce are college graduates, as opposed to other industries. As a result, we are managing a lot of smart people with strong views. It is extremely important to involve people in the dialogue and the conversation.

A big challenge for us in the software industry is that we have fewer women coming through the educational pipeline, as opposed to law or medicine which has already come closer to its goals of recruiting and attracting more women.

One of the things that is also unique to us is the speed at which information comes in, is processed, and influences our decisions. Although this is incredibly exciting, people like myself who lead diversity initiatives must be flexible and agile in making adjustments and open to input from others.