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Recognizing Programs that Empower Girls and Women

As we prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, I am reflecting on so many factors that led to where I am today. My mother grew up in India when the path for most women was not one of higher education and a professional life. Yet, with the support of her family, she pursued an advanced degree and became an internationally acclaimed scientist. At a time when arranged marriages were the standard, she met my father and they wed in a non-traditional “love marriage.” With her quiet strength, she was a pioneer, and her experience and outlook helped shape who I am and the path I have taken.

I, too, had the support of my family to pursue dreams of a college degree and professional career, and to be a wife and mother. But many girls and women are not afforded these opportunities, a lack of access which leads to millions trapped in a cycle of poverty, abuse, and poor health—an inherent inequality—where 66 million girls around the world are not in school, 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence each year, and the number 1 cause of death for girls ages 15 to19 is childbirth.

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Things I’ve Learned About Women At Work (Inspired by Phil Dunphy)

Do you watch Modern Family?  I love that show and it just keeps getting better. The episode where parents Phil and Claire moved daughter Hailey into her college dorm was particularily hilarious and I’m still laughing over the “Phil’s-Osophy” book he created for Hailey on “things I’ve learned”  — hence, my strange title.

When Cisco asked me to participate on the Channels blog, I decided to risk the obvious and write about soft skills because it’s my observation they’re not widely appreciated – especially by women. What I mean by soft skills is personal brand: the image you portray and how others percieve you.  It’s the very foundation on which your career is built.  The timing couldn’t be better: we are in the throes of launching a very exciting project here at Westcon Group (more on that later) and today — you may note — is International Women’s Day.

Women want to develop professional and business skills, but often overlook what I call their soft skills foundation. For starters, there’s that nagging perception of the glass ceiling. Well, let’s ask this question: is it a glass ceiling that’s holding women back or is it something else?  You might consider the following when evaluating your own soft skills foundation.  Read More »

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International Women’s Day: A Jordanian Entrepreneur’s Impact on Education, the Workforce, and Society

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post on March 7, 2013.

Today, I would like to reflect on the progress women are making in the global economy by highlighting the work of one woman who has been a source of inspiration for many: Randa Ayoubi. Randa is a woman entrepreneur from Jordan who had a dream of enhancing the lives of children by raising educational standards through multimedia learning.

Nearly 20 years ago, after her studies in computer science at Texas Tech, Randa returned to Jordan to work at a bank. However, Randa wanted a different path and aspired to be her own boss and contribute to society. She started a software business called Rubicon where she became one of Jordan’s pioneers in multimedia software for education at a time when rural poverty and the lack of teachers in villages was a big issue.

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International Woman’s Day: A Celebration for ALL Women

On 8 March, thousands of International Women’s Day events have been planned throughout the world. The focus of the day generally expresses respect for ,and appreciation towards women who have achieved greatness on the public stage. More often than not it is to acknowledge their accomplishments in economics, political and social change.

I’d like to take a moment today to thank several remarkable women colleagues that I work with every day who move the ball forward, inch by inch, to make sure that the impact of our efforts to improve the world do not go unseen.

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Developing Talent for a Global Networked Economy

Cisco recently announced that the Cisco Networking Academy has enrolled its 1 millionth concurrent student for the first time. An example of cloud-based education delivery, the Networking Academy teaches students how to design, build, troubleshoot, and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities — in communities all around the world.

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