The Cisco employee resource groups (ERGs) help reinforce the Cisco goal of having employees bring their “total self” to work, fostering a more inclusive, collaborative, and innovative environment. The ERGs play a key role in supporting the Cisco business initiatives by uncovering marketing needs, exploring areas of potential growth, and creating meaningful dialogues that lead to business opportunities. By valuing the differences that make each person unique, these groups can increase Cisco’s competitive advantage and increase profits.
To assist ERGs in becoming stronger business partners, we worked with Jennifer Brown Consulting to create the ERG Progression Model. This model enables ERGs to assess themselves, their work and their evolution as organizations.
This new framework allows ERG members to:
- Actively engage on the ERG strategy and action planning process by identifying next phase structural and competency goals
- Increase engagement by building competencies of ERGs to support recruitment and retention of diverse employees
- Expand ERG capability to insert into new markets and related adjacencies
- Establish a tool and process that balances structural needs with individual ERG autonomy
It is always a challenge to develop and implement a new method among established organizations. To ensure a smooth adoption at Cisco, I incorporated three key tactics: Read More »
Tags: diversity, employee resource groups, ERGs, Inclusion and Diversity
“Successful transitions are about attitude, ambition and placing the mission first. As we have done our entire military careers; never accept defeat, never quit and never leave a fallen comrade and to make this point clear, this is why I am here today. I have been in your seat, I have experienced many of the emotions you are going through and can provide you hope and encouragement that the future is yours for the taking.”
Credit: Wiliam McMillian
Kim Ringeisen, Director of Engineering at Cisco, spoke last month at the Wounded Warriors Project graduation ceremony for the Transition Training Academy at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. An 11-year veteran of the US Army, Ringeisen, was the keynote speaker for a 100 person graduating class of transitioning soldiers.
Also with him were Dale Robbins and Marissa Gaithers, members of Cisco’s Veterans Enablement and Troop Support Employee Resource Group.
“Soldiers today are very highly trained in their chosen discipline and in core values that the military instills on every soldier who has served, you have the competitive advantage, you have the spirit that many corporations seek.
“The Military is all about transitions, this is not new… You do not just arrive and you’re done, no! You will always improve your position, train and ensure your personal and team readiness, even if that team is you and your wife or partner. Do not let this transition rattle you, even though for some it will feel like deploying to a foreign land where nothing is familiar, questioning along the way, “will I make it?”, “is their hope for me?”, “how can I compete with the college grads?”, “ I’m in combat arms, but want to be a Network engineer, is this possible?”
“Keep in mind in that foreign land that you are entering, there are hundreds of thousands of veterans already there that can assist you in some form or another.”
About 27 percent of veterans age 20 to 24 are unemployed, according to recent statistics from the Labor Dept. Transitioning to civilian life is challenging. Ringeisen recounted his own experience: Read More »
Tags: defense, diversity, Employee Resource Group, government, inclusion, Inclusion and Diversity, military, military service, veterans, wounded warriors
“Ambition is not a bad word.” Working Mother Media held its 9th Multicultural Women’s National Conference in New York City on July 19-20, 2011. Over 700 women and men gathered for a conversation on race and gender. For the third year in a row, Cisco Systems was honored as one of the Top Companies for Multicultural Women, and for the second consecutive year as one of the Top 5 companies in the US.
Randall Lane accepts Cisco’s Top Company for Multicultural Women award from Carol Evans, President of Working Mother Media and CEO of Diversity Best Practices. Used with permission from Working Mother Media. Photo by Steven Easley
Accepting the award for Cisco was Randall Lane, Senior Leader, Global Inclusion & Diversity. I asked him to share a few thoughts from the event.
You’ve represented Cisco at the conference for three years now. What does this conference consistently offer every year? Read More »
Tags: awards, Cisco, diversity, gender, Inclusion and Diversity, multicultural, women
“If someone is very abusive, or very aggressive, I always try to think, why is this person so aggressive? And sometimes by even making a joke, or by trying to get more information about the person…you break the ice. And sometimes you have some surprising results”
Boris Dittrich, Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch, spoke on collaboration at Cisco’s San Jose campus recently. He told a story about his time as an openly gay Dutch parliament member:
I was still a member of the national parliament and a leader of my political party. We had created a new government and I was on television every night. So people usually said something when I walked down the street. Usually friendly.
Dittrich then recounted a less friendly encounter he had with a man as he walked from the train station to parliament: Read More »
Tags: asian, collaboration, conflict, diversity, glbt, inclusion, LGBT, negotiation
Whether it’s in a television comedy or a real life scenario, we’ve all experienced those excruciating moments when someone tries too hard to be culturally appropriate and ends up getting it wrong. Many of us avoid attempting shows of cultural awareness for fear of the offence we have the potential to cause.
In a global marketplace, many brands (including our own) are looking to build brand awareness and customer loyalty in new markets where social mores and cultural histories are in marked contrast to their own. Yet customers in new markets can often share needs and characteristics with those in originating markets, making a global brand offering eminently possible.
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Tags: brand awareness, culture, Customer-centric, diversity, global, inclusion