Two weeks ago I shared my interview with Sue Hunt, Director of Strategic Programmes at London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games on the subject of Inclusion and Diversity – what Inclusion and Diversity means to LOCOG and how they encourage it while faced with the challenge of an immovable deadline.
As part of our role as proud supporter and network infrastructure provider of London 2012, Cisco UK is involved in a couple of internal activities to encourage its employees to get involved in the Games. One of these activities is the Cisco Step Challenge, a 4-week challenge to encourage people to take the internationally recommended 10,000 steps per day. Providing you walked the minimum 70,000 steps per week, you were put into the prize draw for a pair of tickets to see a Paralympic Games event.
Employees across the UK joined together to formed teams and participated in the challenge. It wasn’t about fundraising or getting sweaty and struggling to find time to fit in extra exercise. It was about participation, improving your health and well being, team work and above all, having fun. A Facebook page and internal community was set up for participants to share words of encouragement and “top tips” for their fellow steppers such as park further away from your office building, use the stairs and not the lift, dancing burns more calories than walking and if you walk with children you walk more steps as you have to go back to get them every 200 yards!
The Step Challenge was very successful in engaging a large number of employees across the UK to participate in a sports challenge and raising awareness about how far you have to walk to achieve the recommended average of 10,000 steps. And one of the great things about it was that you could participate regardless of your age, gender, fitness levels, ethnicity, religion and belief or sexual orientation.
Inclusion and Diversity is a key component of Cisco’s culture and we believe that a truly inclusive and diverse workforce is critical to the success of our company and our people. The Step Challenge was advertised as “a challenge for everyone” and strongly encourage that everyone who wished to attend did so. Unfortunately we did not have anyone with a visual disability participate in the challenge and the team intends to look into this as a key area of focus for us next year. I think this is a real lesson for us all, that it’s not enough to open an opportunity to everyone -- we need to actively encourage Inclusion and Diversity and incorporate it into our strategy for success.
Cisco is the proud supporter and network infrastructure provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 2012 Games aim to be the most connected games to date and Cisco are supplying the routing, switching, firewall, IP telephony and Software as a Service platform to fulfil this aim and transform the Olympic experience for the global audience. Click here to access Cisco’s London 2012 page.
The strong and collaborative partnership Cisco has with LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) is not just confined to a business relationship. We are both fully committed to Inclusion and Diversity -- understanding the importance of diversity and the value it brings and embracing difference whether that’s age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and belief or sexual orientation (you may recall my previous blog post on this topic).
And we aren’t just talking about fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce – it’s also about using Inclusive and Diverse practices to better serve our global customers and partners. For LOCOG, this means all the people around the world who will be flying into London, one of the most diverse cities in the world. And LOCOG is up against an additional challenge – its immovable deadline.
I decided to find out a bit more about this topic and reached out to Sue Hunt, Director of Strategic Programmes at LOCOG. If you have any comments about this post, please post them below.
Cisco UK is also involved in a number of internal activities to encourage its employees to get involved in the London 2012 Olympics. Stay tuned for more on this topic.
The Olympic torch hasn’t been carried into the Opening Ceremonies yet – it’s still a year and a half away before the Summer Games consume London – but there is a crescendo of energy that is already palpable as you tour the main site where the competition will play out.
East London, a community that has longed for rejuvenation, is finally getting it. At Cisco Live! Europe, held a few days ago in London, we had a chance to tour the expansive construction site that is fast becoming the heart of the 2012 Summer Olympics. If the pictures below are spotty, apologies. It’s the best I could do with a smartphone camera and a tour bus rocking gently over gravel and muddy roads. But quality aside, you will be able to see that the arenas and main stadium are taking shape. The architecture is distinct and contemporary. The athletes’ village is modern and amenable. The construction is ingenious and environmentally friendly. For example, the basketball arena can actually be folded up and transported to another location. Hundreds of thousands of local newts were carefully relocated to a temporary environment prior to digging.
With all the care that is being taken, Cisco is making sure it does its part. Cisco is the official network infrastructure partner of the London 2012 Games.