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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.

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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

パネルディスカッションの内容も含めてとても興味深いです!

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Cisco Empowered Women's Network Launch at CiscoLive!

July 8, 2013 at 9:11 am PST

 

On June 22, the first Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) session was held at the CiscoLive! conference in Orlando, Florida. It was an opportunity for Cisco’s female customers, partners and employees and their male allies to gather for learning, sharing and networking.

Among the many great speakers at the event were Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Cisco, who spoke about leadership and Sheila Jordan, SVP, Communication and Collaboration IT,  who led a how-to discussion on personal branding.  The panel discussion moderated by Shari Slate, Cisco’s Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist, highlighted Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, IT and Cloud and Systems Management Group and Maria Teresa Lensing, AT&T Vice President Signature Group.

I particularly enjoyed hearing from Shahd Attar, Cisco Marketing and Engagement Manager, Emerging Solutions Advisory.  She is the first full-time, permanent cisco female employee in Saudi Arabia. She spoke about  co- founding CellA+, a nonprofit professional women’s networking group of more than 2000 members today.

If you're interested in joining the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network, you can connect on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

 

You can get a taste of the session from the video and the tweets posted below. Read More »

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A solo trip to Russia

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When you hear about Russia, what images come to your mind? Grand Palaces, matryoshka dolls, vodka?

Since studying Russian history at school and in my endeavour to visit as many countries as possible during my lifetime (I’ve currently visited 42), I’ve always wanted to visit the largest country in the world and to see the Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral and the Winter Palace with my own eyes. Read More »

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