Reprinted in part from SAP August 31, 2016 release

SAP has plans to use machine learning to detect and help eliminate bias in every decision point

of the end-to-end talent lifecycle, from hiring through succession.

Diversity in the workforce is a business and economic imperative, with research clearly showing

better financial returns and improved employee engagement for companies with diverse workforces.

According to consulting firm McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15

percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians,

and the number jumps to 35 percent for racial and ethnic diversity.

In a new study conducted by Oxford Economics and sponsored by SAP, Leaders 2020, executives

leading digital transformation are more likely to have established diversity programs (46 percent vs.

38 percent of all respondents), and to recognize diversity’s positive impact on culture (66 percent vs. 47 percent)

and financial performance (37 percent vs. 29 percent). These Digital Leaders also report higher revenue and profitability growth.


SAP plans to both optimize existing solutions and roll out unique new functionality in key decision areas

that historically have prevented organizations from utilizing total talent. This announcement delivers

on the commitment made by the company earlier this year.


The planned upcoming technology from SAP includes:


  • Diversity and Inclusion E-Book: a guide to help customers optimize existing features throughout the talent lifecycle that support inclusiveness, enabling customers with SAP SuccessFactors products to better design, utilize and benefit from solutions that help them harness the best talent. The e-book is available today.


  • Recruiting: machine learning–based sentiment analysis of job descriptions within the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management solution to not only identify potentially biased language in job descriptions but also recommend alternative language to ensure the descriptions are gender-neutral. These enhancements are planned for a future release.


  • Calibration: enhanced calibration within the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution to include calibration analysis by diversity rules, including in-app 9-box descriptors and bias detection alerts, to help ensure consistent, equitable standards in evaluating performance and potential. These enhancements are planned for a future release.


  • Mentoring: a feature within the career development planning component that will match mentors based on skills and competencies to help ensure mentoring is equitable and inclusive, and efficiently track mentor-mentee relationships. Mentoring is planned for availability in the SAP SuccessFactors solutions Q4 release.


SAP is taking a comprehensive approach to actively address the pressing problem of unconscious bias.

By using the diversity of thought and innovation of its own global workforce and harnessing the

knowledge and learning from customers and experts such as those in the SAP Diversity and Inclusion

Customer Advisory Group, the company is building new technology within the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite.


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