Ashley Chen is a Senior Product Owner and User Experience Consultant in SAP Intelligent Enterprise Solutions, located in Vancouver, Canada. What does she do? She focuses on business process simplification by looking at the core elements of business, design, and development to help make SAP an Intelligent Enterprise.
Growing up in Taiwan, she watched her mother, a computer programmer, thrive in the male-dominated tech industry and her example led Ashley to believe that anything is possible. Her family moved to Vancouver when she was 10, and inspired by her mother’s path, she pursued a Computer Science degree at the University of British Columbia. The complexities of computer science motivated her to work in the tech industry where she began her journey at SAP in September 2015 as a User Experience Developer intern. In this role, she bridged the gap between UX design and development by conducting user research, usability testing, iterative UX design, and front-end development.
She was first drawn to SAP as it’s a market leader in the software industry and it’s a place where she can make a global impact. She is a firm believer in continuous learning and growth, and her drive and ambition to make a positive impact in the world has encouraged her to seek out the many opportunities offers such as Coaching and Mentoring. She believes this helped her identify her strengths, accelerate in the role, and become the best version of herself to lead with authenticity and compassion. The support and encouragement of Ashley’s coaches, mentors, manager, and team have been paramount for the growth of her career. SAP is a place for continuous learning and growth, and the SAP community truly feels like a family.
When asked about what keeps her at SAP, she replies that it is the people, the growth opportunities, and sense of community and belonging. She loves being surrounded by creativity and innovation while focusing on enhancing customer experience, as empathy for our users and the motivation to break barriers is at the heart of everything she does. She deeply appreciates the global collaboration and travel opportunities that come with her position and working at SAP, allowing her to build meaningful connections and relationships with colleagues all over the world.
Ashley is beyond proud to work at SAP, a purpose-driven company that values diversity and empowers each and every one of us to create an inclusive environment where all voices are heard. As a Diversity & Inclusion Ambassador and a big advocate for women in the workforce, she is dedicated to creating a welcoming community that empowers women and the minority in the tech industry to show up as their authentic best selves. SAP empowers Ashley to give back to the community and build her leadership skills by taking on volunteering roles for causes that are dear to her heart. She is currently co-leading the BWT Mentoring Program that SAP is a part of, and regularly mentoring young women in tech.
In her role, she has passion for understanding customer behavior and building user-centric products. Together with two colleagues, they have taken on the initiative to build an innovation project, Usage Explorer, in their free time. Usage Explorer is a platform for product insights, that helps to understand our customers better, transforms the way we build products, and helps us accelerate our journey into the Cloud.
“It has been a remarkable journey,” Ashley shared. In September 2020, Ashley and her team were selected to attend the SAP Experience Garage’s CreateX Accelerator, where they were selected as the Winner by the Executive Judges. This unique and rare opportunity came with a 6-month full-time Fellowship and relocation to Germany to bring the idea to the next level. Ashley and her team were beyond excited to embark on this new journey. In October 2020, they were invited to attend the SAP.io NVT Accelerator, which gave her and her team the opportunity to learn from experts and meet supportive mentors who provided guidance along their journey. And now, Ashley is honored to be selected as a Top 3 Finalist in the Products & Technology category for the prestigious Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award, which awards employees on their innovation, exemplifying the innovation culture at SAP. “It’s very encouraging to see SAP highlight and value employee-driven innovation,” Ashley shared.
It’s an outstanding achievement for the diverse and small team of three who worked on their idea completely in their free time, in addition to their daily jobs. Ashley’s gratitude runs deep for all the amazing people she has met along her journey and feels immensely lucky to continue to live out SAP’s vision to help the world run better and improve people’s lives.
In her free time, you can find Ashley exploring the mountains, hiking and camping with her life partner and their German Shepherd, Harrison. As a lifelong learner, she loves reading a good book on self-development, product design, psychology, and philosophy. Ashley enjoys pushing herself out of her comfort zone to try new experiences – whether it be dog-sledding in the wilderness of the Arctic Circle at -30 degrees in Finland, watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Turkey, or holding a giant 20-feet Burmese Python around her neck in Costa Rica. She has yet to return home to Vancouver from travelling without having learned something new about the world and herself. Ashley feels incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who inspire her to continuously grow, learn, and push boundaries.
Meet Semih, one of Ashley’s colleagues who he collaborated on Usage Explorer. He works for the SAP Analytics Cloud Infrastructure team. Semih’s development tasks range from full-stack development to DevOps and data engineering.
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