I had a moment to chat recently with Sandy Hoffman, Cisco’s newly appointed chief diversity officer, and we spoke about her new role:
What does a chief diversity officer actually do?
At Cisco, I see my role as providing strategic leadership across the company on recruiting, advancing and retaining talented people in our multinational and multigenerational corporate environment. Additionally, I’ll partner with the business on embedding inclusion and diversity into existing business processes, improving the effectiveness of employee resource groups, and supporting supplier diversity.
What challenges/opportunities do you see for diversity in technology companies right now?
The changing business landscape indicates that by 2020 the workplace will be dramatically different. In order to remain competitive, companies need to create a workplace that is diverse and inclusive, adaptable, virtual, and global.
Technology companies in particular are facing challenges in the Read More »
Tags: chief diversity officer, diversity, Employee Resource Group, generations, inclusion, Inclusion and Diversity, Korea, stem, women
Here in the United States, we are observing Memorial Day today which honors those men and women that have laid down their lives in our nation’s service. Here’s a fact I only learned recently about why the flag is only at half staff until noon:
On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Here at Cisco, our military focused employee resource group (ERG) is just finishing up its annual spring care package drive to troops overseas. It is always an education to get Read More »
Tags: diversity, Employee Resource Group, inclusion, Inclusion and Diversity, memorial day, military, veterans
I recently read an article by Deloitte and something really caught my attention: voicemail.
Apparently voicemail is antiquated. It’s out of touch. It’s not an efficient way to communicate with people.
Did you know that? I didn’t. But according to the same article, the reason I didn’t know is because I am too old.
I’m a Generation X-er. I’ve lived through the digital revolution. And whilst I, like any good Cisco employee, love the fruits of technology – the Internet, smartphones, SMS texts, blogs, IWE – I also remember a time when telephones had cords and emails were word-processed and delivered by postmen. And apparently that makes me a whole different ball-game to Generation Y-ers and “Millenials.”
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Tags: culture, diversity, generation, Generation Y, inclusion, Inclusion and Diversity, Millenials, vmail
I’d been looking at the issue of the lack of women in IT for a couple of years and trying to see how we could make a real impact when back in September 2011 I heard of a pilot scheme run by a colleague in our professional services division that had taken on 6 recruits aged 17 – 22, with a split of 2 male and 4 female, into an IT Apprenticeship scheme. Interest piqued, I met with scheme manager and was hugely heartened to hear that he had not purposefully gone out to get female recruits, it just happened that they were the right candidates and had interviewed well. By contrast we get around 10% -- 20% female intake from our technical graduate program and this is most likely driven by more girls having already chosen a non-technical path through university. Bingo! I thought -- this program could bring in both younger talent, and female engineering talent into Cisco in one hit.
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Tags: apprenticeships, diversity, girlsinit, Women in IT, Women in Technology
Birds of Feather Session
Women in technology have unique opportunities and challenges. Only about 25% of Information Technology jobs are held by women and this can lead to feelings of isolation. Additionally, when women don’t see a lot of role models in the industry, they find it harder to believe they can succeed.
In working with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, I’ve learned that it’s important to acknowledge these challenges and have open conversations about them. After brainstorming with my manager and getting great support from my VP, I rallied a group of women to create a day devoted to the development and advancement of women in technology.
On March 27th, we held our first Women in Technology Forum for Cisco employees. The main event in San Jose, California saw 300 attendees in-person. The nice thing about working at a worldwide leader in networking is that Read More »
Tags: Career, Cisco, collaboration, community inclusion, diversity, Employee Resource Group, Inclusion and Diversity, TelePresence, witf, women, Women in Technology