“When it comes to Inclusion and Diversity, you have to make it personal. You have to find a way to incorporate it into Cisco and outside of Cisco every day – make it part of your life and your DNA. Share your commitments to Inclusion and Diversity with your family, your friends, your co-workers and your customers, partners and shareholders. If we start having discussions with our customers around Inclusion and Diversity, we realise that other than a vendor relationship we have core values in common.” Brad Oliver, Services Sales Manager and Inclusion and Diversity Lead in Canada
Often doing something simple can make a big impact.
First impressions are powerful. You have only a few seconds to make a favorable one. A business card is one of the first tangible ways we present ourselves and our company to others. It makes a statement of not only who we are, but what our company stands for. Imagine doing one effortless act that can make a big difference and immediately open doors for you and your company the first time you meet someone.
I have found that having my contact information printed in Braille on my Cisco business card has greatly influenced my interactions with others. I had received a Braille card at a conference and when I returned to the office, asked our vendor to offer Braille as an option for all Cisco employees. It was a simple change to include this option and it has provided an easy way to show people outside of Cisco our commitment to creating an inclusive environment where everyone is encouraged to contribute to their full potential.
Every time I give someone my card, it generates a conversation about Cisco’s inclusion and diversity philosophy and how proud I am to work for a company that focuses on these values. I’ve been able to explain how our culture helps ensure that many different viewpoints and ideas are brought to the table, so we can create the best and most innovative products and services. And people I don’t know, immediately get a glimpse about what is important to me.
Having a Braille business card has also given our sales people with a way to connect better with our customers. By showing right away that we share similar values with them, it has started conversations that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
In one case, one of our sales directors met with a customer in the Middle East for the first time. After handing the customer his Braille business card, it triggered a rich discussion about Cisco’s commitment to people with disabilities and philosophy of including everyone. That led to a deeper connection with the customer and opened the door to more opportunities.
Better connections with customers. More sales opportunities. Deeper conversations with colleagues and potential talent. A quick way to show Cisco’s and your commitment to inclusion and diversity. Big and lasting impacts. And all from the simple act of having a Braille business card.
What small, simple things are you doing to create an inclusive world?