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Recognition and Implementation

In Laura’s previous post, How we plan to use Cisco’s Reverse Mentoring programme to encourage Inclusion and Diversity, she talks about several aspects of the Reverse Mentoring programme, such as having an internal and external focus, the importance of being people -centric, and that the real benefit lies in the programme being win-win. For these very reasons, and many more, Cisco Belgium caught the eye of A Great Place to Work and won a Special Award for Diversity.

Many people across multiple industries are recognising the importance of Inclusion and Diversity and leveraging it to create the aforementioned win-win situations. Most recently Nicola Mendelsohn, incoming IPA president, highlighted the merit of diversity within the advertising industry in her inaugural speech on April 6 2011, but the cross-industry relevance is clear:

“Diversity of background fuels tension and creativity, and we must fight continually to ensure that the industry never becomes a place of bland conformity.

However, the answer to greater diversity does not just lie in attracting fresh graduates. That is why I would like to explore ways that we become an attractive home for those who want a mid-career change.

Some of our best, most creative people came from outside the industry.” Read More »

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How we plan to use Cisco’s Reverse Mentoring programme to encourage Inclusion and Diversity

Last week, I shared with you some of the great work Cisco is doing in Europe to drive our Early in Career Network (ECN) -- one of our employee resource group  that focuses on Cisco’s new hires and people who are early in their career at Cisco. Initiatives like ECN are vital in helping us promote a more inclusive work environment and diverse work force worldwide.

Another initiative that Cisco’s Inclusion and Diversity Ambassador Network is helping to drive is Reverse Mentoring. This is a formalised program where an executive or senior manager is mentored by an individual contributor in the company. In other words, our individual contributor (the Mentor) is mentoring an executive (the Mentee).

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Inspiring people, inspiring minds

I have a favourite quote that I re-read every time I’m feeling a little lack lustre and needing inspiration. It’s by Eleanor Roosevelt, and says: “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

It’s such a positive and empowering statement that you can’t help but feel that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Inspiration really does come in so many different forms and through different people.

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More together, more often

How easy it is to get caught up in what we see as the challenges and pressures of our own lives and lose a little perspective. Or worse still create a false perspective. But then every once in a while, amidst our personal whirlwind something happens to make us stop and reflect on where and who we are. And just maybe to prompt us to re-calibrate ourselves in some way -- to regain lost perspective or recognise a change that’s needed. That catalyst might be something up-close and personal like a relationship issue, something a little further away like a colleague who falls ill, or even something seemingly un-related to us a world away.

Last Friday that catalyst for me was the massive earthquake and the ensuing tsunami in Japan. For me -- no doubt like millions of people around the world -- it brought out a range of emotions:  shock at its scale; horror at its brutality; sadness for the lives lost; gratitude for my situation and family; amazement at the Japanese people’s resolve and calmness; and of course empathy.

Indeed it’s very often during times of adversity that our identification with and understanding of anothers’ situation grows and we intuitively focus on what brings us together, rather than what separates us. We feel a certain ‘connectedness’. Not only with Japanese communities around the world, but every community -- from the local to the international -  to instinctively understand that at this moment we can and must strive to achieve more together.

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International Women’s Day Across the Globe

March 8th 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which was set up by women in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland to protest against poor working conditions, low pay and male oppression.

There are many article out there highlihgting the fact that in many countries and roles across the world men still earn more than woman, but there also many positive articles pronouncing the great work that women are doing today.

This year the UN’s IWD theme is Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.

This theme underlines the importance of education in progressing as a society as a whole and equality for all people. Read More »

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