How SAP Is Embracing Pay Equity on the Road to Equality

Feature by Supriya Jha, Chetna Singh
Mar 16, 2023 4:15 PM ET
A smiling person looking at the camera, a small group of people at a shared desk behind them, in an office setting

With every new year, personal financial goals tend to be at the top of the resolution list. As the global employer to more than 109,000 people, we’re committed to doing our part by ensuring fair pay. For 2023 and beyond, we’re doubling down on that commitment.

It is important to us because our business is built on trust with our colleagues. That trust leads to high performance and gives us a competitive edge for both talent retention and attraction.

In January 2022, we published a fair pay statement, explaining our philosophy and principles around fair pay. It outlined our efforts to create a culture of equity and inclusion, and a promise to ensure our compensation practices are transparent. Our fair pay motto is “aggregate, don’t segregate.”

In April, we reported that 99.8% of our employees around the world had transparency on their pay range. We also launched a new annual global statistical analysis and made pay equity adjustments.

Even with such positive results, however, it’s still not a time for chest thumping. Among professionals who have a career focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), we know how easy it is to regress. And we have no interest in going backwards. We must continue to raise the bar and push ourselves.

Our current compensation results are not a coincidence and did not happen overnight. We have prioritized fair pay through implementing a global job architecture and global grades framework. We have pushed pay range transparency for employees. We’ve targeted salary adjustments to pay range minimums for those employees whose compensation was below the range. And since last year, we committed to annually reviewing internal pay leveraging statistics to ensure employees are paid appropriately.

At SAP, “fair pay” is more than reducing the gender and ethnicity pay gap. For us, it means focusing on the processes, programs, and guidelines across the organization. We are pushing ourselves to examine the tools leaders use to ensure talent is treated fairly, and that employees with an exceptional work performance are rewarded accordingly.

Fair pay also is about rewarding individuals based on their unique contribution and impact in their teams and the overall company.

We are so committed to promoting pay equity that we’re sharing our insights with others.

Business Beyond Bias features in our SAP SuccessFactors solutions work to help eliminate the inherent biases around age, race, ethnicity, differently abled, and LGBTQ+ communities in HR processes. Our software helps companies uncover unconscious bias in calibration and compensation decisions. It shows where an employee’s pay stands relative to the rest of their job family or group within the company. In addition, it allows you to pull in external market pay information into the compensation worksheet to provide additional data points for ensuring fair and equitable pay decisions.

We’re moving toward a day when equitable pay for all people will no longer be an issue but a basic right for every individual. Until then, we’ll keep working on it.

Supriya Jha is chief diversity and inclusion officer at SAP.
Chetna Singh is senior vice president and global head of Total Rewards at SAP.