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What’s YOUR Mantra?

“Put your oxygen mask before others.” I have heard this mantra again and again this year in different women’s conferences and seminars.  And this was the first message from Adam Grant, the opening speaker at last month’s Massachusetts Conference for Women (CFW).

This seems logical if you think in terms of plane emergencies. If you are able to breathe, you can help the person sitting next to you, whether they’re family, friends or anyone else who needs help. In day-to- day life, this holds true too.Mantra1

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Carpe Diem – Seize the day! Inspiration from December’s Everyday Heroes of CiscoEWN

CiscoEWN Logo

Welcome to our December edition of Carpe Diem, our monthly segment featuring role models across CiscoEWN. We all make resolutions and set goals to improve ourselves– but somewhere along the way, life interrupts our plans, we find ourselves juggling different priorities and invariably things get dropped. What you will find in this segment are experiences of some ordinary people who went on to achieve extraordinary results. Each person featured in this series has faced challenges and opportunities that the rest of us can identify with. Let’s draw inspiration from the choices they made and aspire to the outcomes they created.

Bouchra Bouqata

Interview with: Bouchra Bouqata, Senior Analytics Product Manager, GE Renewable Energy – Wind Dr. Bouqata has a PhD in Computer Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CiscoEWN): You’ve wanted to be a research scientist in the U.S. since you were six years old. How did you stay true to your childhood dream and see it through? Read More »

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Honoring Leadership: Advocating for Team Members with Disabilities

Two Cisco leaders were just recognized with high honors for their advocacy of inclusion and diversity at Cisco and within the community – leadership that champions the needs of our team members and friends with disabilities.

Greg Akers, senior vice president of Advanced Security Research and Government, and Mayte Cubino Gonzalez, a technical services manager in Belgium, are co-recipients of this year’s Diversity Best Practices “Above and Beyond” award from the Network & Affinity Leadership Congress (NALC). The NALC Diversity Award for Affinity Group Leadership is given to “individuals whose grit and determination has led to the creation, success and/or turnaround of their network/affinity group.”

One of Cisco’s key business objectives is to recruit, retain, and empower diverse, top talent through a culture of inclusion, diversity and collaboration. As members of the Connected Disability Awareness Network (CDAN) at Cisco, Greg and Mayte have made tangible progress towards this goal. Through their work on global workplace accessibility projects and initiatives, they are empowering people with disabilities and creating awareness of the unique perspectives disabled people bring to the workplace. Read More »

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Preparation, Optimism, Goodness: 3 Pearls of Wisdom + 1 from the Conference for Women (2015) in Philadelphia

Have you heard the expression, “People don’t remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel?”  Last week, I had the opportunity to participate with more than 8,000 women (80 from Cisco) — in a one-day conference sponsored by Cisco Systems, Inc. and other companies.  There were many amazing speakers who shared their stories of perseverance, optimism and goodness.  I don’t recall everything these presenters had to say, but I certainly remember how they made me feel.  Here are just a few of the great pearls of wisdom from the event.Carli Lloyd_soccer star

Preparation – It’s what defines champions. @CarliLloyd

Carli Lloyd is a star on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and Most Value Player (MVP) of the 2015 Women’s World Cup champion.  She was always the best player on each of her youth soccer teams, but when she reached the collegiate level, she knew she had to step-up her performance if she was to be a leader.  It was her personal coach who told her she needed to not only improve her soccer skills and game technique, but also her character.  Ouch!  This was tough feedback to accept.  Her coach was wise enough to give Carli this needed correction, but also hope and a goal:  If she Read More »

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Changing the Equation

It’s been a little more than a year since we created Cisco’s first Office of Inclusion and Collaboration (OIC).   And it’s been a milestone year.  Today, we’re releasing our annual Corporate Social Responsibility report (CSR), which details Cisco’s high-level priorities for being socially and environmentally responsible, and I’m honored to share the highlights of our progress within Our People section of this amazing document.  As a critical part of Our People Deal, Inclusion and Collaboration are featured prominently in the report.  I invite you to dive in and understand what we’ve accomplished in FY15 and how we’re changing the equation for creating value moving forward.CSR Photo1

What does it mean to change the equation?  For Cisco and the OIC, it means we continue to expand our view on the factors driving inclusion, diversity and collaboration.  It means we leverage fresh perspectives, thought leadership, and data and analytics to gain new insights. It means we use those insights to inform bold new strategies.  We change the way we talk about inclusion, diversity and collaboration, the way we measure our progress, and the way we connect our business strategies and our inclusive practices. And we align with a higher vision of value creation in the work we do to drive transformation through our people.

A Foundational Year with Milestones. Changing the equation was a top priority in this first, foundational year for the OIC. We began by looking at the legacy work of the Global Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) function we were transforming, including over 400 well-intentioned programs designed to support diversity and inclusion across our company.  And while we recognized the progress made through those programs over the years, we knew that more programs would not result in more impact or move us forward in our higher vision of value creation. Read More »

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