The Pay Equity team has won funding to build software designed to help close the gender pay gap under the SAP One Billion Lives initiative, the company’s flagship social entrepreneurship program. Two additional teams also will receive support for their social impact projects.
The finalists were chosen from the more than 2,000 participants who entered and underwent intense mentoring in the SAP.iO Venture Studio while vying for funding that would help them turn a big idea into a business with a big social impact.
Pay Equity, which set out to counter unconscious bias in compensation, was one of 10 teams that emerged over the past seven months as finalists in the SAP One Billion Lives program. The team will now receive seed investment funds plus design, product, and development support from the SAP.iO Venture Studio to build the product, engage customers, and demonstrate traction and scale of their business.
The team—Lyndal Hagar, Jenngang Shih, and Ritesh Chopra—was founded on the belief that SAP has the unique assets and expertise to help close the gender pay gap. For example, the SAP SuccessFactors solution portfolio provides valuable data that, when anonymized and analyzed with the company’s machine learning capabilities, can provide insight into the behaviour of more than 150 million employees around the world, including how they manage, develop, and—importantly—how they reward and compensate talent.
“I feel incredibly privileged to have this opportunity to create a business venture that can help immediately and deeply change someone’s life,” said Hagar. “Through working with customers and their anonymized data, we found cases where people were paid about US$18,000 less annually than their peers. The organizations that we worked with were surprised. Although the analysis we provided was anonymized, the managers vowed to take this [insight] back to their organization, find the people, and make the compensation right. Imagine the impact on someone’s life with the additional income – it could mean a more comfortable home, better schools or better healthcare.”
“Mentoring at SAP One Billion Lives is invaluable,” she elaborated. “We knew there was a real issue that organizations were interested to resolve, but until we started working with SAP.iO, we were not sure how to shape that idea into a working business model. The one-on-one mentoring session with Adaire was eye opening. Her advice was a pivot point for the team. I hope to see even more people get involved, because with the access to SAP’s vast network of customers and quality mentors in the ecosystem, each team is already three steps ahead of any start-up out there that is acting on their own.”
Two other teams will receive support to work with customers and partners this year to further validate the viability of their projects:
“The interest in SAP One Billion Lives has been heartwarming,” said Adaire Fox-Martin, the executive sponsor of the program and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, Global Customers Operations. “The depth of ideas and the passion that these teams have shown are beyond inspiring. I am thrilled that the program has been so well accepted. The impact is real, and SAP is now ready to share it with our customers and partners. This is the future of work in large organizations and the future of infusing mature industry leaders with agile and innovative spirit.”
Building on the early success of the initiative, an “always-on” approach to SAP One Billion Lives will be activated in 2019, enabling candidates to submit their ideas and access self-service educational offerings, including an openSAP course, at any time.
In addition, the program will be open for the first time to SAP customers, helping them create experiences of value for their communities. Together with SAP, they will be able to build social enterprises that benefit the societies in which they operate.
The aim of SAP One Billion Lives is to help solve the world’s biggest social problems by bringing together the best the company has to offer: its people, technology, data assets, and a vast ecosystem to develop a portfolio of lean, sustainable, shared-value impact ventures, operating at startup speed.
Since its launch in 2016, projects have helped hundreds of thousands of people. For example, by developing genome-specific cancer treatment protocols in India with Ramesh Nimmagadda Cancer Foundation, the course of cancer treatments for more than half of cancer patients in the country have been changed. Similarly, by partnering with Hakusan Corporation to help protect millions of people from major earthquake disasters, SAP One Billion Lives ventures have successfully utilized the best of SAP to drive impact at massive scale.