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How to set up a Reverse Mentoring Program in 10 Steps

In 2011, I wrote a blog called “The Results: How Reverse Mentoring Can Enhance Diversity and Inclusion”. The blog described the benefits, the lessons learned and the most popular areas to mentor from a Reverse Mentoring Program I led at Cisco.

Since publishing this blog, I’ve been touched by the number of people who have reached out to me, both from within Cisco and outside of Cisco from other companies, to find out more about how to set up a successful Reverse Mentoring program. Their interest inspired me to write this blog on 10 simple steps you can use to set up a Reverse Mentoring Program. Read More »

Veterans Corporate Technology Day 2013

October 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm PST

Video featuring Cisco employees sharing their experiences transitioning out of the military into the civilian workforce

Veterans Corporate Technology Day (VCTD) at Cisco Systems will take place this year on Thursday, November 7, 2013.  The day brings U.S. military personnel, spouses and caregivers to Cisco campuses and exposes them to available resources as they potentially transition to the civilian workforce.   Events will be hosted at the following locations:

  • Cisco San Antonio, Texas and Brook Army Medical Center (20 Vets)
  • Cisco Research Triangle Park, North Carolina  and Ft Bragg (100 Vets)
  • Cisco Englewood, Colorado and Ft Carson and local Air Force entities  (25 Vets)
  • Cisco San Jose, California (50 Vets)
  • Cisco Herndon, Virginia (100 Vets)

The multi-site event introduces mentorship programs and educational resources.  To register, Read More »

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Working Mother Magazine Recognizes Cisco and Ileana Rivera

We are extremely proud to announce that Cisco has been recognized by Working Mother magazine’s prestigious 2013 100 Best Companies list.  For five consecutive years we have appeared on this sought-after list,  and this year we’re extremely proud to announce that Ileana Rivera, Senior Director at Cisco and IT Regional leader for Latin America, has been named as Working Mother of the Year in the same publication.

Ileana is responsible for managing all IT related client interactions for the Product Sales and Services Sales organizations and to the overall user community in Latin America.  Her main areas of responsibility include: User Experience support, Service Capability enablement, IT leadership, and Customer Engagements across Latin America. Ileana has more than 13 years of experience in the life science/medical device industry, and has been with Cisco for the last 5 years.

On the topic of being a working mother, Ileana says, “Being a working mother is the art of multitasking! Your mind is always running faster than your actions, you are always Read More »

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My Experience at the Commemoration of MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech

Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama

Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama

It is with much excitement that I write this blog post – a first for me – on the Cisco Inclusion and Diversity blog.  On August 27th I traveled from San Jose, CA to Washington D.C. to attend the 50th anniversary and commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic I Have a Dream speech held at the Lincoln Memorial.  Hopefully, many of you were able to watch the event, as it was truly a wonderful celebration of Dr. King’s legacy.  What I want to share with you is what I experienced being there on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – standing in line at 7:00 am, through the event’s conclusion that afternoon.

DC22

Standing in line all morning really paid off! We got great seats!

I arrived at the gate to the entrance of the event for individuals with tickets right around 7:00 am.  There were only a few of us there – myself, a group of what appeared to be three friends, a woman who was alone, and volunteers that were beginning to file in in white shirts and khaki pants. I immediately asked security if I was at the correct location and showed him my ticket.  He replied that I was in the right place, and that I should stand in line until they started letting people into the event at 9:00 am.

During the two hour wait I learned that one of the women in line was named Mo.  Mo was beaming with joy. It was Mo’s birthday, and she said there was no place she would rather be than at this event.  Two of the others in line were Andrea and Donna.  Andrea is a PhD student, and Donna is her friend – they sing in the church choir together.

In time we all began to talk – about from where we’d traveled, why we’d come, about trying to stay dry in the rain… It did start to rain, but we barely noticed.  Soon the press began to arrive.  There was a small group of female reporters standing close to us. They were from a radio station in Nassau, Bahamas, GEMS 105.9. The stations website promotes “Strengthening our WOMEN, and uplifting our MEN”.  One of the station’s DJ’s – Ghandi- asked if she could interview us, and asked each of us why we were there.  My response – “ I am a woman, I am black, I am a mother, and I work in Inclusion and Diversity.  Equal rights are always top of mind for me.  I am here to celebrate the work and sacrifices made by Dr. King and countless others involved in the civil rights movement.  I am here to reflect on the progress that has been made over the past 50 years.  I am here because Read More »

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Sheryl Sandberg’s Japan Visit

Hirai and Sheryl NewsletterCisco SVP of HQ Sales -- Japan, Yasufumi Hirai, and I had the privilege to meet Sheryl Sandberg earlier this month at a private luncheon reception sponsored by Nikkei Weekly News. We were so inspired by her. She gave me a hug when I mentioned I was from Cisco. She says “John Chambers has been so supportive with Lean In and Cisco is doing amazing things.” Prior to the luncheon, she met with Japan Prime Minister Abe.

Sheryl mentioned she is not an expert in Japan but understands that the challenges for Japanese women are much harder. She clearly did her homework on Japan provided useful data on Japan’s diversity demographics. Her advice to Japan:
1. Address stereotypes and bias that hold women back. For example, women are viewed as caregivers and nurturers. Men are viewed as providers.
2. Change corporate policies like the gender pay gap, long work hours and re-invite women back after maternity leave. Make men feel more comfortable working with women.
3. Achieve more balance in the home.

Enjoy the photo! The Ustream of the Japan Evening Session is below. Sheryl presents at 1 min. 30 sec. I truly felt her positive energy.

Global Women’s Leadership Summit

Video streaming by Ustream

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