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The Results: How Reverse Mentoring Can Enhance Diversity and Inclusion

Back in April this year I wrote a blog about a programme we drove in Europe last fiscal year called Reverse Mentoring, where a senior employee is also mentored by the junior employee. All of our 31 mentors and 31 mentees have now reached the end of the programme and I’d like to share with you their feedback – what they enjoyed, what worked well and what we can improve upon in the future. Read More »

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Shaggy Dog Story

Some time ago now, when I was a teenager, I was told a shaggy dog story. For those who haven’t heard of shaggy dog stories, they are purposefully longwinded tales that play upon the preconceptions of the audience. The audience listens with certain expectations which in the end are either not met or met in some entirely unexpected manner challenging the audience to check how they think.

I won’t take up this space and your time telling a full length shaggy dog story but I will recount the gist of the story to highlight the preconception that I’m afraid I was guilty of as a teenager and still sometimes fall into the trap of now.

A girl is lying in a hospital bed having had a serious accident. So serious, in fact, she has to remain in hospital for a good while. She is visited by many people: Her friends, the doctor, the nurses, her father, her teachers, her brother and her sister, each of them bringing her get better soon gifts and asking after her well-being.

When the tale comes to a close the narrator says: Didn’t this girl receive a lot of visits? Then asks:  How many times did her mother visit, can you tell me?

You stop. And think. And decide to say: Well it’s a bit tricky counting up all of the mother’s visits because there were so many visits altogether, too many to keep track of the mother’s. But then you think, actually I don’t think the mother visited at all. Yes, that’s right. The poor girl didn’t get one visit from her mother. How could that be?

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Open Doors

I’ve been doing a bit of Googling recently on the subject of community inclusion, motivated initially by what I heard people saying about causes of the riots that shook the UK this summer.

I was away from the UK when the riots took place but certainly felt the nation’s confusion upon my return. Politicians, journalists, academics and community leaders alike struggled to articulate and agree on the causes and solutions.

The confusion, of course, isn’t surprising, since there is never just one cause of civil unrest easily pinpointed and eradicated. But what has surprised me is some of the labelling that’s been used, one phrase in particular really making me sit-up with shock.

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Practicing Inclusion and Diversity at home

Do you measure the success of your family by its ROI?

Every month, I receive an invite to attend Professional Business Women of California’s professional development sessions on a variety of topics. Their recent Webinar was a particularly interesting and thought-provoking one – how we can apply the skills we have learnt in our career to strengthening the most important organisation in the world, our family.

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Veterans Corporate Technology Day at Cisco – Oct 18, 2011

September 19, 2011 at 9:35 am PST

On October 18, 2011, Cisco Systems will host Veterans Corporate Technology Day (VCTD) which brings U.S. military personnel, spouses and caregivers to Cisco campuses and exposes them to resources that are available as they potentially transition to the civilian workforce.

The multi-site event introduces mentorship programs and educational resources.  There will be a sessions on the GI Bill/ Vets Benefits and Futures Inc’s online career path and job resource center called “Pipeline.”  Cisco veterans and executives will share testimonials about their own transitions and attendees will have an opportunity to tour Cisco facilities such as labs, the Network Emergency Response Vehicle and the virtual Executive Briefing Center.

The event builds on the first Cisco Veterans Corporate Technology Day  held last year at Cisco’s Research Triangle Park campus in North Carolina.  The Veterans Enablement and Troop Support (VETS) employee resource group hosted 30 soldiers, spouses and caregivers from the Ft. Bragg Warrior Transition.  The day was a great success with many rewards for all parties involved. Click video below to hear from participants of last year’s event:

This year’s Cisco Veterans’ Technology Day will take place  on October 18, 2011 at the following Cisco locations in partnership with Wounded Warriors Project and Futures Inc.:

  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
  • Englewood, Colorado
  • San Jose, California
  • Herndon, Virginia
  • Lawrenceville, Georgia

Related Posts:

Cisco’s Inclusion & Diversity Blog: Transition from Military Service to Civilian Life

Cisco’s Platform Blog: Supporting New Opportunities for Veterans

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