Our SAS Culture Code: Diversity and Inclusion

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Assessing a company from the outside can be tricky business – but it shouldn’t be. That’s why we’re pulling back the curtain on the #saslife. From our values to our vision for the future, we’re giving a transparent look at what it’s really like to work here.

At SAS, it’s not about fitting in to our culture, it’s about adding to it. We believe our people make the difference. Our diverse workforce brings together unique talents and inspires teams to create amazing software that reflects the diversity of our users and customers.

Diversity and inclusion is essential to who we are as a company – it isn’t a trend, and it’s not new around here. It’s been important to us since the beginning, but in the last few years, we’ve started talking more about it.

Diversity and Inclusion

At SAS, diversity and inclusion is about more than gender or race. We have 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.

D&I is so important to us that we made it one of our four company brand stands, including Education, Data For Good, and Innovation.

Starts at the top

Diversity and Inclusion is a priority to our leadership, all the way up to the top. In the fall of 2017, our founder and CEO, Jim Goodnight, signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. The CEO Action is the largest CEO-driven business commitment, comprised of over 800 CEOs, to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

“We believe a diverse workforce brings unique talents and inspires teams to create software that can change the world. Great minds don’t always think alike, so we make it a priority to promote an environment where varied perspectives are encouraged. Big ideas ignite when everyone is treated with fairness and respect.” – Jim Goodnight, Founder and CEO of SAS.

A few of our “actions” include…

  • Recruiting and attracting women, veterans, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities in technology through various programs and outreach efforts.
  • Developing and engaging women, who represent nearly half of our US workforce (including 35% of our leaders and 32% of our technical talent).
  • Taking the HBCU Partnership Challenge pledge to create strategic partnerships with our nation’s Historically Black Colleges & Universities.
  • Offering same-sex spouse and domestic partner benefits since the 1980s.
  • Creating free accessibility software for users with visual impairments.
  • Providing free SAS programming courses & certification for military veterans and spouses in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
  • Launching our award-winning Autism Spectrum Internship Program.

Employee Inclusion Groups

We also have several Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs). They’re company-sponsored, voluntary and employee-led groups that serve as a resource for employees and for our company to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. We call them ‘inclusion groups’ because all employees are encouraged to join one or all EIGs if they support their mission and charter, regardless of their personal identities.

SAS EIG logos

  • SAS International Connections (SASIC)
  • Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)
  • Young Professionals Network (YPN)
  • SAS Military Network (VETS)
  • Black Initiatives Group (BIG)
  • LGBTQ+ and Allies (PRIDE)

Our EIGs engage in a variety of meaningful (and fun!) programming throughout the year, and they’ve continued to grow organically. Our employees also make connections through employee special interest groups. From Python users to pinball fans, there’s something for everyone!

Investing in an inclusive future

We’re also helping to foster the next generation of STEM talent for ourselves and our customers through a multitude of educational initiatives and outreach efforts. Through our diversity outreach, we connect with students and professionals through networking events, career fairs, workshops, partnerships and conferences.

A work in progress

Being inclusive makes us a better place to work, and a better place to do business with. Diversity is an important part of our culture, and it’s what makes SAS a great place to work for all. Thanks to our employees’ feedback, we’ve made some great strides and continue to encourage input from all.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, our work is never done – but we’re proud to be a champion for all of employees and look forward to continuing to innovate both in software and in workplace culture.

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Don’t just take our word for it - our people have amazing stories to tell. Check out our diversity webpage for more information, and search #SASlife on social media to hear from our employees firsthand.

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About Author

Danielle Pavliv

Sr. Diversity and Inclusion Manager

Danielle Pavliv is a Sr. Diversity & Inclusion Manager at SAS where she serves as a thought leader and strategist promoting and executing global diversity & inclusion strategies. She's 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 Professional. Danielle lives in Apex with her fur babies: dog, Sugar, cats, Smokey and Mr. Man, and her husband, Matt.

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