SAS has a multidimensional culture that blends our different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives from employees in 59 countries around the world. We want everyone to feel confident in expressing their ideas and know that they will be respected for their unique contributions and abilities. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that enables all to feel empowered to be creative.

Diversity is at the core of who we are, because analytics, by definition, is a field that thrives on it. As innovators, we rely on our creativity and differences to create great software. We’re especially proud to empower and inspire women. And we have a long history of having many women in our company in a male dominant industry. From our early days in the ’80s, over 50% of our population was women at a time when the industry average was 30%. Today, about half of our employees are women, with 32% in technical roles (compared to the industry average of 18%) and 35% are in leadership roles.

We believe empowering women is critical for innovation and business success and are proud to celebrate the on-going achievements of women. We’re thrilled to highlight two of our outstanding technical women leaders who’ve recently been recognized for their leadership.

SAS' Women's Initiative Network
SAS' Women's Initiative Network

Advancing Women in Tech

SAS’ Oita Coleman was honored with a Great Place to Work® For All™ Leadership Award. As Vice President of Quality User-Driven Enterprise Software Testing, her leadership and commitment to excellence have yielded incredible results for nearly 33 years. Oita has created a high-trust culture that not only prevails within her organization, but that resonates throughout the company. She invests time and energy into our products and into her teams because she’s so passionate about what she does. She is a strong advocate for cultivating future talent and participates in many student recruitment and mentorship programs at the high school and collegiate level. She also

serves on the North Carolina Central University Board of Trustees. Put simply, Oita Coleman helps make SAS a better place to work.

We’re also proud to recognize Annette Sanders, Sr. Director of Analytical Technical Support Engineering, who was awarded the 2019 Women in Business Tech Star award by the Triangle Business Journal. Annette was honored for her outstanding leadership and proven track record of significant accomplishments in business and the community. A SAS veteran of 26 years, Annette leads a team of engineers who support SAS® software and use it to identify patterns and new insights that influence how we run our business more efficiently. Annette pays it forward to other men and women by serving as a SAS mentor, as well as helps coach the Varsity Women’s Tennis team at Trinity Academy. She knows analytical skills are essential to evaluating patterns of play and identifying crucial skill gaps. She combines her love for the game and for analytics to encourage young women to grow and develop. Congratulations, Annette!

Setting the standard for workplace culture

Consistently recognized for our employee-centric culture, we’re pioneers when it comes to setting the standard for creating a workplace where people feel valued and motivated. We actively develop and engage women, offering training, consultation, mentoring and networking opportunities that address the needs of women in the workplace. In addition, we provide many benefits to help employees integrate work and life, and have several initiatives that support women including:

  • The Women in Analytics Network program to strengthen diversity in the analytics field and leverage the SAS value of authenticity, value for work/life and passion to build a community of women, inside and outside of SAS, who work to advocate for women in the field of analytics.
  • The Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), a strong community of employees who empower, encourage and inspire women to pursue excellence in their careers and fulfillment in their personal lives. Members act as ambassadors for the organization and STEM careers, sharing time and expertise to develop leadership skills, expand professional networks, showcase thought leaders and attract women to careers in science and technology.

Women are leading the way

SAS is also a natural leader for women in analytics because of the software we create. Our technology improves everyday life by transforming data into intelligence whether it’s finding a new cure to fight diseases faster, rebuild a nation after a catastrophic natural disaster, or help improve the life of a child. There’s an increasing interest in analytics for women due to:

  • Opportunities to make a social impact.
  • More companies providing flexibility to help women get back or stay in the workforce.
  • More availability of online master’s and/or certification programs.
  • More opportunities to participate in collaborative, problem-solving teams and/or events.

We believe that we must do more than just recruit and cultivate diverse talent – we must also help create more of it. The skills gap that exists, specifically in STEM-related areas, is real. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find qualified candidates for highly-technical roles, and even harder to find a diverse pool of qualified candidates. SAS supports education and outreach that promotes learning for all and builds a global community of innovators by partnering with educators, communities, businesses and policymakers to advance the next generation. Data shows that women account for less than 20% of computer science degrees in the U.S. and hold less than 25% of STEM-related jobs so we have programs specifically focused on building the pipeline of girls and women in STEM such as:

  • SAS STEM Days where SAS partners with local middle schools to inspire more students to consider careers in STEM.
  • SAS attends the Grace Hopper Celebration to engage, recruit, and celebrate women in technology and to engage in dialogues on cutting-edge topics such as AI, machine learning, data science, software engineering, and more.
  • Participates in Triangle Women in STEM, a coalition of universities, organizations, nonprofits, associations and local government agencies that promote women in STEM in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.
  • Partners with Capella University to offer the Capella Women in Analytics Scholarship specifically designed to encourage women to join the growing field of big data and analytics.
  • Sponsors the Doyenne Inspiration FIRST Robotics Competition, an event to empower young women through the FIRST Robotics Competition to become engineers, computer programmers, and STEM leaders.
  • Cohosts Data on the Fly, an event in collaboration with the NCDOT Division of Aviation and the NC Science Festival, to inspire the Next Generation with STEM and aviation.
  • Provide Curriculum Pathways®, free interactive resources, tools, and apps to support K-12 education in science, mathematics, language arts, social studies, and Spanish.
  • Offer SAS® Analytics U, free software, support and resources for learning, teaching, and academic research, plus online communities where SAS users can connect, collaborate and share to get started as a data scientist.

A better place to work and do business - for all

Our founder and CEO, Jim Goodnight, built SAS’ culture on the philosophy of treating people like they make a difference. It’s our commitment to providing opportunities for everyone. Being inclusive makes us a better place to work for all, and a better place to do business for all. To learn more about SAS’ Diversity and Inclusion efforts, visit

And be sure to check out the General Session Keynote at SAS Global Forum on Tuesday, April 30 and hear from two incredibly inspiring talents! Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and author, presents Closing the Gender Gap in Technology. Through her organization, Saujani is leading the movement to inspire, educate and equip young women with computing skills for the 21st century. And Olympia LePoint, award-winning rocket scientist, science entertainer, and educator, shares her story. You’ll be mesmerized by their journeys.


About Author

Danielle Pavliv

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

Danielle Pavliv (she/her), is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at SAS where she serves as a change agent and thought leader in creating and executing workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. In her role, she consults with business leaders and employees to develop interventions that infuse diversity, equity & inclusion into how the organization thinks, acts, and operates globally. Danielle is passionate about creating positive change, advocacy, and inclusion of underrepresented groups in the workplace and community. Danielle has two bachelor’s degrees in Spanish & French from NC State University, and a master’s in Human Resource Management from the University of Southern California. She is also a Certified Diversity Executive and has over a decade of experience in the field of diversity, equity & inclusion.  

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