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Cisco Celebrates International Girls in ICT Day

April 7, 2014 at 11:18 am PST

Women earn 57% of all U.S. undergraduate degrees but only 18% of undergraduate computer and information sciences degrees, according to the National Center for Women in Technology. Yet according to U.S. Department of Labor estimates, more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings will exist by 2020, with only enough computer degree graduates to fill 30% of them.

And globally, women comprise less than a third of workers in the computer science, engineering, and physics fields in some of the world’s key emerging economies, according to a report by Women in Global Science & Technology.

Attracting more girls and women to the technology field benefits women, their families, their communities, and the businesses they work for. Women are powerful catalysts for change in any society: When women are able to earn an income, they typically reinvest 90 percent of it back into their families and communities.

To help tap this valuable talent pool and attract more women to careers in the information and communications technology (ICT) field, Cisco is participating in Girls in ICT Day – an international event organized by the by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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How Access to Broadband Can Remove Barriers to Education and Empower Women

This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post

Research resoundingly reveals that when girls and women are educated, the income they earn is primarily returned to their families, which in turn helps build stronger families and more stable communities. But can something as simple as a dirty bathroom break that positive cycle?

Unfortunately, in some countries it can, especially when adolescent girls reach puberty. UNICEF finds that 1 in 10 school-age African girls “do not attend … or drop out at puberty because of the lack of clean and private sanitation facilities in schools.” Girls’ attendance also drops dramatically if they are not well because of disease or poor nutrition, if the school is far away and parents are concerned for the child’s safety, or if families don’t see the value in spending limited funds on their daughter’s education.

To help more girls become educated, we must first remove these and other barriers that prevent them from attending and staying in school.

Many organizations are doing that — they are building schools in impoverished or politically and socially turbulent regions, establishing schools just for girls and women, and providing qualified female teachers to underserved communities, particularly in developing or underdeveloped countries.

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How Mentors Are Changing the Conversation For Young Women

December 16, 2013 at 10:56 am PST

It can be lonely for a woman in the technology field.

At the college level, men earn 82 percent of engineering and computer science degrees. And while women make up 47 percent of the overall workforce, they constitute only 27 percent of the science and engineering workforce. Isolation and lack of mentors often prevent women from pursuing and advancing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

View our feature on the Huffington Post ImpactX about women who are excelling in the technology field and serving as mentors for other young women.

Dr. Akila Sarirete leads a networking technology program for woman at Effat University in Saudi Arabia as a lecturer and IT supervisor in 2002. Her goal is to expand employment options for women and help advance their careers.

Dr. Akila Sarirete leads a networking technology program for woman at Effat University in Saudi Arabia. Her goal is to expand employment options for women and help advance their careers.

 

 

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Girl Scouts Wowed by Cisco Technology

Members of my Global Delivery Center (GDC) Public Sector Team at Cisco’s campus in North Carolina recently spent an evening with more than 60 Girl Scouts, who all have a passion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Girl Scouts, North Carolina Coastal Pines (GS-NCCP) serves girls and adults in 41 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. Through this program, girls develop leadership skills while learning the important of personal responsibility, the value of goal setting, the spirit of teamwork, and the thrill of accomplishment.

RTP_GS_1

The girls visited Cisco on July 18, when 15 Cisco employees and college interns gave them a tour of Cisco’s lab, TelePresence technology, and Security Operations. The Public Sector team led the TelePresence portion of the night, during which Cisco’s TelePresence technology was shown off to the girls with an exciting game of charades and Pictionary.

RTP_GS_2At the end of the game, we shared with the girls how the TelePresence technology is used during our day-to-day lives at Cisco. They were amazed to hear that we were able to meet with people in other states and countries all over the world with such ease.

Cisco’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Padmasree Warrior, recently wrote “Girls at a young age must have something that sparks their interest in technology or science.” As the Girl Scouts entered the conference room to see another group of Girl Scouts in another building on three large screens, they shouted out beyond disbelief, “Oh! They can hear us?” By the end of the night, with quotes like “I want one of these at my house!” it was easy to see that Cisco definitely sparked every Girl Scouts’ interest in technology.

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Where are all the Women?

The future of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is exciting. Every day, people are using the Internet, computers and mobile devices in new and innovative ways.  ICT is changing the way we work, live, play and learn. And it’s opened up new employment opportunities that should appeal to men and women alike.

So, where are all the women?

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