Head of Customer Success, SAP ANZ
At SAP, we believe that when you bring everything you are, you can become everything you want.
I strongly believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is a respectful workplace that opens itself up to new ideas and innovation.
Passionate. Driven. Positive.
These are three words that Sehida Frawley, Head of Customer Success (DBS) in SAP Australia and New Zealand, uses to describe herself. And it is easy to see why.
Growing up in a Muslim family in Australia, accepting arranged marriage proposals at 15 and not pursuing an education was the norm for girls in her community. However, Sehida vividly remembers how her grandfather had convinced her mother on the importance of an education, which ultimately forged the path for her to move away from home to pursue her university degree.
"He strongly believed that you should work hard to be the best you can be, that education was key, and that we should all feel a duty to give and help those less fortunate than ourselves," she says.
Sehida cites her grandfather as her role model. She attributes her passion to speak up and do something to make a difference, to him.
The impact of her grandfather’s influence has been far-reaching, but the biggest acknowledgement came when Sehida won the DBS Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Award at the SAP S-KOM (Services Kick Off Meeting), which she says was one of her proudest moments at SAP. The pride she felt, was from the acknowledgement that she is working in a company that holds the same beliefs.
She says, "The award was confirmation that Diversity and Inclusion is something that matters at SAP. What is even more inspiring is the number of conversations I have had since then with individuals who are offering to step up and play their part in improving Diversity and Inclusion at SAP."
In 2017, Sehida drove significant D&I topics within DBS APJ, specifically with Gender Intelligence and Differently Abled People. The initiatives included starting a Business Women’s Network chapter in Canberra, driving the Autism at Work initiative by integrating three interns on the spectrum in the Canberra office, piloting a veterans’ program in SAP, and getting the Commonwealth of Australia to consider the provision of enablement for the differently abled, as part of SAP’s license agreement with the Australian government. In 2018, she created a regional team of ‘D&I champions’ to further drive and develop initiatives in each market, expanding beyond Gender Intelligence and Differently Abled People to include Cross Generational Intelligence as well.
Between the continuous strive towards a diverse and inclusive workplace, driving business outcomes, enhancing collaboration and personal growth within her team, and improving the work environment, sometimes there is just insufficient hours in a day for all the things that Sehida wants to make an impact on, but that does not seem to deter her. Empowering people has always been one of her passions and Sehida dedicates herself to providing constant feedback and recognition to make employees feel valued, regardless of their seniority.
"Everyone enjoys being told that they have done a great job, being recognized when their achievements are shared, and being recommended when opportunities arise. I strongly believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is a respectful workplace that opens itself up to new ideas and innovation, achieving greater success for those involved and the organization that they work in. But for that to happen, strong leadership is needed to bring the best out of the team and ensure that they understand their purpose."
This parallels one of the career lessons that she has learned - that success is not just about personal contribution, but a team effort, and that leadership is about enabling others to be successful.
But the most important takeaway that Sehida has to offer is to have passion and a purpose. She said, "If you are not passionate about what you do and do not see its value, then you are in the wrong job. Move on, as life is too short."
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