Right now, 66 millions of girls around the world dream of going to school.
Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation, yet millions of girls aren’t in school. Educated girls stand up for their rights, marry and have children later, educate their own children, and their families and communities thrive.
Yet millions of girls around the world face barriers to education that boys do not. Removing barriers such as early marriage, gender-based violence, domestic slavery and sex trafficking means not only a better life for girls, but a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for all.
Lack of access to education for girls is a real issue, but I must admit I often don’t think of it. Yes, in my daily work with the Cisco Networking Academy I am constantly reminded of the lack of females studying IT, and am involved in projects to help increase these numbers worldwide. But I often forget about the issue one step back. What about the girls who don’t have the luxury of choosing what to study? Those girls who just want to go to school, but can’t?
A few months ago I was reading our Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility newsletter when I saw a post about this very issue. Cisco offices around the globe were showing a documentary called Girl Rising. I was curious and asked for a copy. A few weeks later with a group of co-workers in our Barcelona office we were moved by the story of 9 girls from around the world portrayed in the video.
Here in Silicon Valley and many towns across the globe, it’s that time of year. The time of year when we’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends. It’s also the time of year when we turn our attention to giving back to those who are less fortunate.
This season, I want to direct the focus to just a few of the Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners and non-profits who work tirelessly to give back all year long. These connections are what make the CSR work we do possible. Our partners give us the ability to scale our efforts and create exponential social, environmental, and business impact.
One of our CSR focus areas is education. As the world becomes more connected, new career growth and opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are more plentiful than ever. Yet the majority of U.S. students lack foundational skills in STEM. MIND Research Institute set out to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. By developing the game-based Spatial Temporal (ST) Math instructional software program, MIND Research Institute is revolutionizing math education through visual learning. Amazingly, schools that fully implement ST Math see double, and even triple, the growth in math proficiency than comparable schools. Cisco has partnered with MIND Research Institute for over a decade now, helping the organization scale delivery and access to ST Math by transitioning the software to a web-based platform. I’m extremely proud that this work and investment has increased access from 55,000 students in 2007 to more than 800,000 students and 31,000 teachers in 40 states, and is helping develop the workforce of the future. Read More »
After returning to the United States, the transition from battlefield to civilian workplace can be difficult for veterans. Many have a hard time translating their leadership skills and military experience to something that will resonate with hiring managers.
One of Cisco’s priorities is to make that transition easier. By the end of FY2015, we plan to connect 7,000 U.S. military veterans to ICT training, credentials, and job opportunities through different programs and initiatives.
On 4 Cisco campuses, veterans learned about Cisco’s efforts to help them find meaningful careers after returning from active duty
Cisco employees also get involved in our efforts to support military veterans – one of those ways is by organizing annual Veterans Corporate Technology Day (VCTD) at several Cisco campuses. This year, more than 194 veterans attended VCTD at Cisco campuses in California, North Carolina, Colorado, and Texas on November 20, where they learned more about careers and opportunities in the technology field.
The event connected veterans with over 25 Cisco volunteers, who shared personal transition stories and highlighted Cisco’s veterans program. Veterans left knowing that tools like Cisco Networking Academy courses and the Future’s U.S. Military Pipeline can bring them closer to building their IT skills and finding careers after serving their country.
Cisco volunteers showed off exciting projects to veterans, inspiring them to put the skills they learned in the military to use in the civilian workplace
Cisco also received the “Statement of Support” award from the United States Secretary of Defense in recognition of our veteran hiring efforts.
Find out how Cisco is helping put U.S. veterans to work by reading about Warren and David Neal on our CSR website.
At the Cisco Boxborough, Massachusetts office, we are taking part in Giving Tuesday by encouraging our colleagues to participate in the 2014 Global Hunger Relief Campaign, which helps 13 local nonprofit hunger relief organizations. This is part of Cisco’s larger global campaign, which helps more than 160 food organizations worldwide. The goal of the campaign is to raise $1.8 million to end hunger around the world, and so far we are more than halfway toward that goal.
To date, we’ve raised over US$24,000 so far in employee donations, and we continue to make significant headway toward our 2014 goal of $43,000. We owe a big thanks to Director of Engineering, David Abe, who leads the New England Development Center and is an executive champion for this year’s Campaign.
In addition to David Abe’s leadership, my fellow Civic Council members, and a vibrant culture of giving back, our local Campaign launched with a beautiful artistic wall created by Lynne Abell.
Boxborough, Massachusetts Cisco Civic Council member Lynne Abell designed this artistic wall to commemorate the 2014 Global Hunger Relief Campaign
This Thanksgiving, many of us will celebrate with our friends and family. We’ll gather and enjoy roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and a slice of grandma’s pumpkin pie for dessert. Unfortunately, 805 million around the world don’t have enough to eat. Last week, I learned that we can change that. I participated in the StopHungerNow Volunteer Food Sort on Cisco’s San Jose campus and joined 200 employees in the fight against hunger.
As part of Cisco’s 12th Annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, we packaged rice, soy, and vitamins into small plastic bags for distribution. Together, we boxed up 50,000 meals, which will be shipped to hungry children in more than 27 countries this year.
Before we started packing bags, my colleague Eric and I had to take a selfie!