United Nations Humanitarian Award to Bill McDermott

SAP CEO Bill McDermott and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Press Release |  SAP SE CEO Bill McDermott’s groundbreaking work in promoting gender equality has been recognized by the United Nations Association of New York.

During a time when trust in public institutions and the will for global collaboration is at an all-time low, the United Nations Association of New York honored McDermott on Tuesday, alongside co-honorees who included former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The annual fundraiser, held at the Metropolitan Club in midtown Manhattan, brings together leading members from the diplomatic, corporate and NGO sectors to shine a spotlight on work intended to eliminate gender discrimination around the world.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what my 95,000 SAP colleagues have done to make us a champion not only for equality, but for all 17 global goals,” McDermott said in prepared remarks. “We have big challenges. For some, these may be mistaken as impossible. On the contrary, I believe our greatest challenges are also our biggest opportunities.”

Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business News, who introduced McDermott, said: “Bill set a bold vision when he started as CEO of SAP: Help the world run better and improve people’s lives. That’s it. Audacious, elegant, powerful, good. Just like the man himself. It takes a unique kind of leader to bring people together, unite them in a common mission and achieve extraordinary results.”

The United Nations Association singled out SAP in its effort to advance UN Sustainable Development Goal number five, gender equality, through innovation and technology. This goal is one of 17 set by the UN as part of its 2030 agenda.

The award called out SAP initiatives such as EDGE certification, Girls Who Code and Business Beyond Bias — the use of machine learning capabilities in SAP SuccessFactors solutions to detect and eliminate unconscious bias in HR processes — as part of the rationale for the award.

At the end of the evening, McDermott issued a call to action and a promise. “This is not a women’s issue. This is a human issue. We should never doubt that progress is possible… the greatest thing a leader can do is change hearts and minds. I promise you — great companies like SAP will always stand up to give back.”

Press Release was published on SAP Website

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