September 30, 2023

Interview with Robyn Arroyo – Pride at SAP

Ruben Arroyo, Senior Compliance Officer at SAP, spoke about her experience at SAP and her involvement with the Global Pride @ SAP team.

In the latest episode of the AHA! Moments for Diversity and Inclusion SAP Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Supriya Jha spoke to SAP Chief Compliance Officer Robyn Arroyo about how SAP provides a safe work environment for LGBTQIA+ employees. Robyn also shares how this environment has empowered her and encouraged her to be open about her transition at work.

Robyn uses the pronouns she/she/it and identifies as female. She sees transitioning as a process, not an identity. Female, Latina, Member of the Security and Compliance Community, SAP Concurror in the ISBN (Smart Spend and Business Network) Space and SAP Global Inc. Explains that the concept of intersectionality (overlapping different identities) essential to understanding is that LGBTQIA+ people do not define themselves solely by their orientation nationality or their gender identity. Intersectionality is part of the culture at SAP and allows Robin to bring all these identities together and just be himself.

aha experiences

There were two key moments in Robyn’s life that made her realize she could be herself in the business, namely the 2020 United States Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County and the reading of the SAP – Gender Reassignment Policy.

19 years after Pride @ SAP was founded and nine years after SAP made its commitment to respect Human rights against “discrimination and harassment based on personal factors such as […] gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression” In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that it is against the law to fire employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Prior to this ruling, companies in more than half of US states could fire employees because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. “The referee gave me the courage to be open about myself in the workplace,” Rubin recalls.

SAP’s gender reassignment policy was also a clear sign to Rubin that SAP is a safe place to go.

Many transgender people, like Robyn, reach a point where they gradually adjust their lives and physical identities to align with their gender identity—generally with the goal of being able to consistently express their gender identity. In order for this process to go as smoothly as possible, the business owner is critical. Many SAP employees, teams, and managers have never worked with colleagues who are in transition (or have already worked before); So there may be concerns about the behavior expected of them or questions and uncertainty about how to support a colleague during the transition process.

operation for employees

SAP’s gender reassignment policy clearly defines how employees can take action at the beginning of this process: from announcing a gender change to physical appearance (employees have the right to dress according to their gender identity, although all SAP employees have the same specification for outward appearance). ). Aspects such as access to sanitary and hygienic facilities that match the gender identity of employees are also regulated in the guideline.

HR process and managers

To ensure employee well-being during the gender transition process, appropriate support from human resources and managers is critical.

The policy describes how Human Resources will designate Human Resources contacts who will support transgender people or employees during their transition. It is also indicated that supervisors are obligated to respect the privacy of these employees. Recommendations for how managers should handle concerns and questions from other team members are also included. Managers are encouraged to listen, stay open, and coordinate closely with the relevant HR contact.

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HR is also responsible for name changes and pronoun usage in all documents that do not need to match the legal name. This includes, for example, emails and access cards.

There is no birth address

Addressing someone by their maiden name, which is inconsistent with their gender identity, prevents others from developing a sense of the person’s actual identity.

Rubin says that changing her name, pronouns, and gender markers in business applications such as Success Factors, email, Microsoft Teams, and other communication systems has been very important to her in helping others connect with her personality. While this process was not easy, as IT had to coordinate with HR, these changes are essential to a successful transition in SAP.

For Robyn, the name change was a crucial step out of the workplace. He allowed her to be herself. She smiles subtly and explains, “When I saw my name, I saw myself. When other people see my name, they know who I am.”