5 Minutes with SAP’s Claire Gillissen-Duval

Meet Claire Gillissen-Duval, Senior Director for SAP EMEA and MEE Corporate Social Responsibility and SAP Global Lead for Meet and Code.

#MeetandCode #SAP4Good #DigitalSkills4All #Collectiveimpact #QandA

In the lead-up to the 2023 edition of Meet and Code, we sat down with Claire Gillissen-Duval, Senior Director for SAP EMEA and MEE Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), to find out what she’s looking forward to this year. Claire is no stranger to CSR and Coding initiatives and her work speaks for itself. Over the past 17 years of being part of SAP CSR, she managed key signature programs and is one of the pioneers behind SAP’s Africa Code Week.  
Q: Why does SAP support Meet and Code? 

A: SAP's purpose is to help the world run better and improve people's lives. Meet and Code is a critical component in achieving this goal as it empowers young people with digital literacy skills. 
As we know, the digital skills gap is widening, and there is an increasing demand for professionals proficient in programming, data analysis, and other tech-related skills. Our initiative provides an accessible platform for young people from all backgrounds, including those in small villages and big cities, to learn these skills in a fun and engaging way. 
By equipping young people with digital skills, we prepare them for 21st-century jobs, which is essential in today's rapidly changing job market. Such initiatives are crucial in ensuring that young people have the tools and resources they need to succeed in a digital world. 
Q: How is Meet and Code bridging the digital skills gap? 
A: Since 2016, 6000 interactive workshops have been organized in 35 European countries, impacting over 200,000 young lives. By funding non-profit organizations (NPOs), the program can offer digital education and training to young people from diverse backgrounds, particularly those who are underserved and underrepresented and, regardless of where they live. This is evident as events in smaller cities saw an increase of nearly 16% in youth participation in 2022. 
Q: The European Commission has set a target to have 80% of EU citizens equipped with these skills by 2030. How do we close this gap quicker and sustainably so?   

A: Collaboration is key to closing the digital skills gap in Europe and achieving the EU Commission's target. By working together, businesses, governments, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations can create a comprehensive approach to digital skills development that considers the needs of different groups and leverages the unique strengths of each stakeholder. 
Through the collaborative efforts of Haus des Stiftens and TechSoup Europe, Meet and Code has expanded its reach to more non-profit organizations, while Amazon's support as a major partner has furthered efforts to close the digital skills gap across multiple countries. These partnerships demonstrate the importance of collaboration in achieving our shared goals and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
Q: What are you most looking forward to seeing from Meet and Code in 2023?  
As someone who is passionate about digital literacy, I am thrilled to see what we have in store this year. Aside from seeing more of Europe’s youth improve their digital skills, I am excited to see how our collaboration with public and private stakeholders will help us achieve our common objectives. 
I believe that Corporate Social Responsibility and the projects we lead play a critical role in creating a more equitable society, especially in tech, where we aim to provide young people with the skills they need to succeed in the digital age.  
From the Meet and Code Team, we’d like to say a big thank you to Claire as we look forward to working with her on the 2023 edition! Speaking of which, stay tuned to our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter) and subscribe to our newsletter for the big 2023 event announcement.