Since her early beginnings over 20 years ago, Cristina has closely followed the transformations in the technology market. She started working with systems: first as an analyst, then as a programmer, and finally as a consultant. She saw the first finance software emerge, she experimented with the services sector at a hardware company, and that's how she discovered that her real passion was for applications. She joined SAP almost 10 years ago during a global economic crisis in which companies reviewed their technology processes to make them more effective.
After facing different challenges throughout her professional life in 2016, she decided to start a new venture. She began leading the first committee for differently-abled people at SAP in Argentina. The group is part of a network of employees who meet voluntarily to discuss and implement related initiatives.
She said, affirming the need to rethink the concept of disability:
This type of action is necessary because inclusion doesn't always happen naturally in the marketplace. We need to be prepared to work with people according to their talents, which turns out to be highly enriching for everyone. The fact that they commit themselves to a specific task does not mean they lack other talents.
The motivation to join these networks is usually the result of having a direct connection with the topic. However, neither Cristina nor anyone close to her has any disabilities. It was the mere wish to promote inclusion that encouraged her to take charge. She was especially motivated to see the great results of SAP’s Autism at Work program (AaW), whose goal is to be inclusive of people on the autism spectrum and amplify diversity in the company.
One of the network members who joined SAP through AaW has been key to the team’s success. In addition to being a technology whiz, she brought in her knowledge about inclusive activities. It was her idea to organize a lecture with the creator of “Bastón Verde,” a project that advocates the use of a green cane to identify people with low visual acuity.
The first actions of the group led by Cristina also included the enablement of the company's infrastructure to hire people with disabilities as soon as possible, making the facilities fully accessible. Moreover, there are many other activities going on, from training recruiters to raising awareness among employees.
The launch of an internal contest to find a slogan for the team was part of this awareness campaign. The winning motto was “PaSAPorte a la Igualdad” (Passport to Equality). Cristina believes that, in such complex times, it is necessary to see equality of opportunity as an essential means to increase diversity in all environments, in all aspects. That is why she makes a point of sharing with people from different cultures, with different life experiences – and encourages others to follow suit.
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