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Becoming a Woman of Impact

Be Fearless! That was the theme of an incredible Cisco Women of Impact Conference last week, and like most of the 4,850 people joining from about 80 sites around the world, I came away inspired and energized by all I heard and learned during the day.  We came together as women (and men) that wanted to learn, connect and share ideas on how we could personally make a bigger impact.  I know I took home many new ideas and many new friendships.

I’m very proud and extremely fortunate to be the EMEAR executive sponsor of Connected Women.  The Women of Impact day is one of our key events – designed to provide ideas and insights, help women connect, and encourage them—no, all of us—to reach for more.  It’s a powerful reminder of the power of diversity in our business.

So, what does it mean to be fearless?

First of all, it’s about going beyond fear.  It’s about recognizing fear when it crops up (and believe me, it will), and then having the courage to set it aside and to move forward, whatever the obstacles.  Effective leadership often means stepping into the unknown, disregarding fear and focusing on how you can make an impact.

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Women of Impact’s 2015 Fearless Female: Olivia Shen Green

Christine MorgnerGuest Blog and Interview by Christine Morgner

Olivia Shen Green was a valued member of Cisco for 8 years in various organizations including Supply Chain Management, Acquisition Integration, and the Office of Inclusion & Collaboration Group.  Recently Olivia left Cisco to pursue another opportunity.

During Olivia’s fearless pursuit to Connect, Empower, & Inspire women in the technology world, she founded the first women’s conference at Cisco.  In part, Olivia’s inspiration came from her mentor and manager at the time, Sonar Thekdi. Olivia credits Sonar as being a role model for how to be your authentic self.   Sonar had her back when the Women in Technology Forum was just a dream and assisted in securing senior leadership approval.

Olivia gathered passionate and outstanding leaders throughout Cisco Read More »

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Women of Impact’s 2015 Fearless Female: Annella Heytens

Roxanne EdwardsGuest Blog and Interview by Roxanne Edwards

At the Women of Impact Conference this year on March 19th, our focus is to empower attendees to Be Fearless – by taking risks, overcoming obstacles and blazing new trails in their personal and professional lives. The Conference focus is to connect, develop and inspire the women in technology at Cisco.

Learn why Annella Heytens, Vice President of Human Resources, APJC is our next featured Fearless Female.

We are impressionable at a very young age. The examples set by others can be inspiring and guide us in many directions.

Annella grew up in the Philippines and was inspired by her mother and grandmother who were both well educated women.   Annella’s mother was a nutritionist, and Annella followed in her footsteps. She holds Master’s degrees in nutrition and dietetics, but Annella is now Vice President of Human Resources and is responsible for 21,000 employees in over 18 countries. How did she get there?

Years ago, Annella’s then husband took a job in China and they relocated from Washington, DC. Annella, being a fearless female, interviewed for a human resources position without having any experience at all in the field. Annella assumed caring for people as a nutritionist or working for a retirement community developer wouldn’t be too far from a human resources function. The hiring manager took a risk on Annella, as she sensed Annella had the required skills and capabilities to master the job. Annella eventually became a managing consultant for one of the largest human resources consulting firms in the world in Beijing. Within three years under Annella’s leadership, her division became profitable for the first time.

Annella Heytens Photo

Annella is constantly paying it forward. She believes in taking a risk with others. Annella has influenced the hiring of many local leaders in AJPC. If they are motivated and have leadership capabilities, she’s willing to take a chance.

Annella loves to travel. She selects a new location every year for the family vacation. She enjoys champagne, chocolate and cheese (yes at the same time).

Have you registered for the Women of Impact Conference yet? It’s only 4 days away. For more conference details or registration information, click here:

Read about our other #FearlessFemales here and check out our #BeFearless #CiscoChat on Twitter.

Share with us with your stories and pictures how you can Be Fearless, tweet us @Cisco_WOI or find and Like us on Facebook on the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Facebook page! Don’t forget to use the #WOI2015 hashtag!

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Women of Impact’s 2015 Fearless Female: Esther Roure Vila

Roxanne EdwardsGuest Blog and Interview by Roxanne Edwards

At the Women of Impact Conference this year on March 19th, our focus is to empower attendees to Be Fearless – by taking risks, overcoming obstacles and blazing new trails in their personal and professional lives. The Conference focus is to connect, develop and inspire the women in technology at Cisco.

We have all been inspired by various individuals throughout the different stages of our lives. Esther, an Engineer on the Data Center solution team, has been motivated by admiring the examples set by others. As a matter of fact, Esther considers Monique Morrow, another Fearless Female nominee for the 2015 Women of Impact Conference, as someone she holds in very high regard.

Esther’s dedication to her profession has led her to be named as the European Digital Commission Woman of the Year. Esther holds many Read More »

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Women of Impact’s 2015 Fearless Female: Jyoti Sarin

Christine MorgnerGuest Blog and Interview by Christine Morgner

Jyoti’s life journey thus far defines the word FEARLESS. Jyoti’s mother had a huge impact throughout her life beginning in early childhood. As a retired Dean of Mathematics from a University in India, she was a well-regarded Professor of Mathematics and contributing author to the Master of Mathematics curriculum in India. All of Jyoti’s mom’s accomplishments were achieved because she never took “no” for an answer, even when it felt overwhelming or unachievable. She opposed family traditions prohibiting women from attaining a higher education and subsequently earned that opportunity for herself and her sisters. She viewed education as the foundation for progress and not only for herself, her sisters, her own kids, but of course for complete strangers too by supporting and financing education for household help and in low-income communities. Her acts of selfless pursuit of knowledge inspired Jyoti from childhood and instilled an obligation to carry forward the legacy. Jyoti says “I will always be an advocate for education. It is a legacy I choose to carry”.

Jyoti Sarin

Jyoti joined Cisco in 2006 and is currently a Senior Manager in IT leading a strong, 44-person team responsible for managing IT Innovation, Strategy, and Planning. Within the first one and a half years of her job in Cisco, she realized an opportunity for IT to grow as an innovation partner for the company. Jyoti took a fearless risk and re-wrote her own job description, leaving behind all that she was comfortable with and blazed a trail into the unknown. She inherited a small lab with 2 servers and a few resources which became the genesis of an Innovation and Research organization that today supports many revolutionary campaigns across the company. She believes that companies of tomorrow will be built upon the democratization of knowledge, decisions and work. Today, Jyoti’s organization is thriving and making a bigger impact on the company because of her FEARLESS actions. You can read about her leadership philosophy here.

In addition to her day job, Jyoti actively mentors and volunteers her time to help women who are early in their career. She is an active partner for the community relations team supporting their US2020 goals by hosting STEM related workshops. She is on the leadership board of ICON ERO and is a partner to other EROs such as Connected Women and CONEXION. It’s also through these relationships that Jyoti reinforces the same passion and value for education and “challenging the norm” instilled from her mother. In her free time, Jyoti enjoys painting, sketching, reading, nature/outdoors, and traveling with her family. She affectionately refers to herself as “artist by heart, geek by profession.”

Have you registered for the Women of Impact Conference yet? For more conference details or registration information, click here:

Read about our other #FearlessFemales here and check out our #BeFearless #CiscoChat on Twitter.

Share with us with your stories and pictures how you can Be Fearless, tweet us @Cisco_WOI or find and Like us on Facebook on the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Facebook page! Don’t forget to use the #WOI2015 hashtag!

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