Two nights ago, I had the pleasure of attending Opportunity Now’s 2011 Awards Gala Dinner at the Brewery, Chiswell St London. Over 500 guests came together to recognise excellent practices within organisations that are creating equal, diverse and inclusive workplaces, with a particular focus on gender.
Cisco came home with two awards that night:
Inclusive Culture Award
This award recognises work which is creating equality at an organisational or cultural level.
Cisco won this award for its European ‘More Together’ strategy led by our co-blogger Nikki Walker, Senior Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Sustainability for European Markets at Cisco Systems.
Inclusion and Diversity is one of our core values at Cisco because we believe a diverse and inclusive environment will help drive innovation and talent in the workforce and that this will help us better serve our customers and engage with our partners in the worldwide marketplace with the strength of working together. Yet one of the challenges we faced was a growing perception among our employees that Inclusion and Diversity was only relevant to the minority and a proactive approach from the majority was not a requirement.
Working closely with our peers at Blue Goose to develop the More Together strategy to engage the majority to be inclusive and drive lasting cultural change.
Award Number Two
The Champion Award is awarded to a senior level individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing, promoting and embedding a diversity culture within the workplace. Although John Donovan, Vice President of Cisco Worldwide Inside Sales, missed out on this award he was highly commended for his commitment to creating a diverse workplace.
With a reputation as a top sales leader at Cisco who has been managing a diverse team for many years, John was asked to address gender balance in the UK and Ireland. He ran a number of workshops called ‘the goldfish bowl’, where female employees openly discussed with executives what it was like to be a female in a majority male company and industry and some of the challenges they faced. These sessions led to several primarily initiatives including:
- Female talent reviews
- ‘Jump’ Training and Executive Shadowing for females
- Mandatory bias training created for and completed by all Managers
- Recruitment targets to ensure Cisco has a balance of CVs and that interview panels are mixed
- University and Network Academy partnerships for female mentoring
To read more about the awards, please visit Opportunity Now’s Awards homepage: http://www.opportunitynow.org.uk/awards/on_awards_2011/index.html