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Connecting, Empowering and Inspiring Women in Technology at Cisco

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 »

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Is it really funny?

Driving home from the supermarket a few Saturday mornings ago, I switched on the radio to discover a female chef talking very enthusiastically about her collection of knives. I couldn’t place who she was but was suddenly more interested when out of her mouth popped the phrase:

“Anyone who uses a serrated knife for anything other than tomatoes is totally gay.”

I turned up the radio hoping to check what I’d heard was really what I’d heard but there was only silence, as if the chat show host and other guests were deliberating over the need to pick up on the chef’s use of the term gay.

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So you think you know it all?

So you think you know it all?

If you haven’t seen this advert for Carlsberg beer,

take a minute to watch it.

Beer’s not my preferred tipple, but I do think this a really clever twist on the way that preconceptions keep us in their thrall (as well as a good ad for lager.)

A series of couples are sold tickets to see a movie. However once inside, they realise that their seats are the last two in the middle of the theatre. And that every other seat is occupied by a Hell’s Angels biker, covered in tattoos.

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Power to the people

It’s widely recognised that the most effective leaders and the best managers are those who consider and understand the impact of what they say and do, on other people.

Who hasn’t been in a meeting where somebody senior has absolutely crushed someone else – often without even realising the effect that might have had on that person’s motivation and wellbeing? Many of us have had the “boss from hell” – the one that bullies or cajoles or frightens others into submission.

In my experience the best bosses are those who lead without taking power from others. They are the people who lead by example, who instil respect and loyalty, and who make others feel empowered to do their jobs well.

But power is not just about being a boss.

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Developing Local Talent in Technology (DLTT) Sets New Record in Indonesia

“We want to forge new ties and greater understanding between the young people in this young country” were the impressionable words President Barack Obama left with the students on November 10, 2010 when he visited the University of Indonesia in Jakarta.  Fifteen months later, Cisco partners with the Networking Academy and the university to host a weeklong hands-on technical training and soft skill development event on the same campus, where it almost seems Obama’s vision was coming to life, literally.

This event is called Developing Local Talent in Technology (DLTT), which started in 2009 by Middle Eastern Diversity & Inclusion (MEDI) Read More »

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