by Ray Hayes

What is diversity?  While some people may view this as simply referring to a person’s race or gender, today’s diversity programs can expand to include sexual orientation, physical disability, older age groups, and even individuals with a military service record.  With the term diversity still evolving, there are current under represented groups that are looking for ways to increase the pace of the diversity expansion.  That would be the LGBTQ and disabled communities.

According to the Out and Equal Workplace Advocate 2017 report, 25% of LGBT employees have experienced some form of discrimination. Furthermore, the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that people with disabilities are most likely being overlooked for job opportunities, with only 17.5 percent being employed.

Miguel Castro, global lead for culture and identity at SAP, recently spoke about the unique skill sets people from the LGBT community have to offer employers stating that, “In today’s world we know a commitment to inclusion is much more than a cultural ‘nice to have.’ In fact, it is proven that companies that are LGBT-inclusive are 72 percent more likely to attract allies as employees and increase productivity.”

In an effort to garner support for the LGBT and disabled community, Castro and SAP offer a variety of programs that help these individuals enter the workforce. According to the Huffington Post, “SAP’s ‘Differently Abled area’ is led by Stefanie Nennstiel, and the unit runs programs such as Autism at Work, which helps people with autism enter the workforce, as well as SAP Software Accessibility, which ensures the highest levels of access guidelines are enforced across products.”