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Inclusion and Diversity

In Laura’s previous post, How we plan to use Cisco’s Reverse Mentoring programme to encourage Inclusion and Diversity, she talks about several aspects of the Reverse Mentoring programme, such as having an internal and external focus, the importance of being people -centric, and that the real benefit lies in the programme being win-win. For these very reasons, and many more, Cisco Belgium caught the eye of A Great Place to Work and won a Special Award for Diversity.

Many people across multiple industries are recognising the importance of Inclusion and Diversity and leveraging it to create the aforementioned win-win situations. Most recently Nicola Mendelsohn, incoming IPA president, highlighted the merit of diversity within the advertising industry in her inaugural speech on April 6 2011, but the cross-industry relevance is clear:

“Diversity of background fuels tension and creativity, and we must fight continually to ensure that the industry never becomes a place of bland conformity.

However, the answer to greater diversity does not just lie in attracting fresh graduates. That is why I would like to explore ways that we become an attractive home for those who want a mid-career change.

Some of our best, most creative people came from outside the industry.”

It is great to see this kind of talk in such varied sectors, but the vision is the same. Back to the tech-sector, a aspect of diversity that is constantly being measured is the amount of women in the industry, their position within the industry, and the impact that they are making. It is always interesting to see who is doing well in the technology industry, which is an infamously difficult place for women to work, in terms of recruiting, retaining and developing female employees.

Here at Cisco UKI we are really pleased to have recently won two Women in Technology awards. Nikki Walker, Senior Director Inclusion, Diversity & Sustainability Europe, won the Inspiration of the Year Award and Bernadette Wightman, Managing Director, Partner Organisation, won the Business Leader of the Year Award. This award champions the positive impact that women across Technology are having on the industry, and how they are doing it.

We would love to hear about the different ways that different companies are encouraging the recruitment, retainment and development of female employees across different sectors. Whether that is through recognition, as exemplified above, or through the use of new technologies and working practices, as illustrated in my previous post, Technology is Enabling More Women to Succeed in the IT Industry, or through mentoring programs, as previously mentioned by Laura.

Let us know in the comments box below if you have had success, or challenges, with any of the topics covered in this post.

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