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Cisco wins prestigious Inclusion and Diversity awards at Opportunity Now

Two nights ago, I had the pleasure of attending Opportunity Now’s 2011 Awards Gala Dinner at the Brewery, Chiswell St London. Over 500 guests came together to recognise excellent practices within organisations that are creating equal, diverse and inclusive workplaces, with a particular focus on gender.

Cisco came home with two awards that night:

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Cultural Advisor App Helps You Work Better With Your Global Colleagues

At Cisco, working in a multicultural and multigenerational environment is something we do every day. With colleagues, customers and partners located all around the world, understanding how to work with a global and diverse set of cultures is important to our success.

That is why my team decided to work with Aperian Global, creator of GlobeSmart™, an online tool that provides organizations with access to information on conducting business with people globally, to co-develop a limited mobile version of the tool, called “Cisco Cultural Advisor.” It is available for free on the Apple iTunes store today.

Cultural Advisor will help you to unlock the secrets to success for conducting business around the world. Whether you are meeting with customers in Tokyo or having a video conference with colleagues in Brazil, this application provides instant, customized information to help bridge communication and work-style differences between you and your global counterparts.

To get started, simply answer a few short questions to assess your communication style.

You will  be shown:
• Your communication profile plotted along three cultural dimensions
• An explanation of what your profile says about your own work styles and preferences
• A comparison of your profile with the average profiles of people from more than 30 different countries

You will then be prompted to invite individuals anywhere in the world to compare profiles with you and get tips on how to communicate more effectively with one another.

I leave you today with a challenge. Complete your personal communication profile in Cultural Advisor, then invite three of your colleagues to do the same. Put to work the information that you learned from the assessment and see if it makes a difference in how you all work together. Post your experience to this blog. I look forward to reading them.

Cultural Advisor is powered by GlobeSmart™ a tool developed by Aperian Global.

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Diversity in Computing 2011: Richard Tapia Conference

“You, who represent two worlds, should use both to move forward.” This year’s Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing conference started off with thoughts from the founder.  Richard Tapia is a mathematician and professor in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University in Houston, Texas.  He is, among other honors, the first Hispanic elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

The conference focus was to bring forth traditionally underrepresented students in computer technology and create a welcoming environment to have technical discussions as well as to provide networking opportunities.

We were pleased to have Mei Wang represent Cisco at the Doctoral Consortium on Sunday. There were several of us at Cisco who attended to recruit students and listen in on some of the sessions.

Cisco Giveaway Fan
This year’s booth giveaway. You know you’re talking to computer scientists when the first thing they ask is: is the fan reprogrammable?

The panel and speaker topics ranged broadly. I heard that the speakers were asked 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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Cisco’s Early in Career Network – helping our new hires to feel included

It’s an interesting activity:

Ask a diverse group of people if they remember their first day at work…you probably get a mix of reactions right? Some people are able to recall the experience quite vividly (particularly if it wasn’t that long ago) and are able to give you precise details – their start date, their first task, perhaps even what they wore. Others may only be able to recall a vague memory…

Then ask the same group of people if they remember how they felt after week 1 and I bet most, if not all of them, will be able to give you a definite answer: “I knew I had made the right choice”; “I felt overwhelmed”; “I was excited at the opportunities that lay ahead”. Read More »

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