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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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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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Separate but Inclusive: Special Needs Accommodations at After-School Events

My colleagues are not a shy and retiring group. If they need help, I hear about it.  If I make a decision they don’t agree with, I hear about it. I hear about it in-person, on the phone, over email, over instant message and over text message. Sometimes I hear feedback from these venues simultaneously! What I seldom get is silence. But, after reading Jean Winegardner’s post about making after-school activities inclusive, I’m going to listen a little more for the silence.

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