When it comes to encouraging more students to enter the fields that make up STEM –Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – American faces twin crises. First, how do we meet the looming 1.8 million shortfall in the number of workers who have the technical skills necessary for the jobs of tomorrow? And second, how do we ensure that more women and girls go into these fields?
The good news is that there are some true leaders committed to solving this problem. Among them, Cisco’s own Liz Centoni, Vice President, Engineering Strategy & Portfolio Planning and Chief of Staff for Chief Development Officer. Liz sits in the part of Cisco that innovates and develops our new technologies, products and solutions, the core of Cisco’s engineering team. Liz is an active mentor and supports under-represented minorities. At Cisco, she launched a “Women in Engineering Leadership” forum, and is the Global Executive Sponsor for Cisco’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), a recipient of the YWCA (Silicon Valley) 2015 TWIN Award, and CloudNOW’s “Top 10 Women in Cloud-2015.”
That’s why this week Liz will be honored by one of our nation’s most notable organizations that is trying to make mentoring a national priority – Million Women Mentors.
The Million Women Mentors organization is dedicated to advancing the education of girls and women in STEM. Today, Million Women Mentors is meeting at the National Press Club for an annual summit and gala. Cisco is proud to be both a sponsor and participant. www.millionwomenmentors.org
Cisco believes passionately in STEM mentoring as a tool that can help advance diversity in the STEM fields, a cause we wholeheartedly support. We are especially honored to be among the group – public and private – scheduled to receive awards tonight. We have committed to the US2020 pledge – that 20 percent of our workforce will mentor students in STEM annually by 2020. We have also significant programs in place to train students to meet the needs of the 21st century economy, as well as to increase the number of students of all backgrounds to go into STEM.
We’re proud to share the stage with other corporate leaders and elected officials, including Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
As Patrice D’Eramo, Cisco’s vice president of America’s Field Marketing and a one of the Vice Chairs of the MWM told me: “Each of us has an obligation to extend a hand mentoring the next generation of leaders,” she said. “We want to open the door of opportunity to all students – and especially girls and young women– to be aware of STEM careers and to be excited by the possibilities that are out there. My career in tech is living proof what happens when you are mentored, in STEM, at a young age.”
I could not agree more.
Congratulations to Liz, other awardees, and the Million Women Mentor’s organization on this day of celebration. The work they do truly makes a difference.
Tags: stem, STEM mentoring
The Cisco Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina campus, normally quiet over the weekend, will be alive and buzzing with activity this Saturday, September 12, as hundreds of students, robots, coaches, and volunteers gather for a day of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning.
For the second year, Cisco RTP is hosting the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Kick-Off in partnership with North Carolina A&T State University (North Carolina FIRST Affiliate Partner for FTC) and NC FIRST Robotics. The centerpiece of the day: Congressman David Price will present the “Game Reveal”—when wide-eyed students learn the rules and guidelines for this year’s robotics competition, and are able to see the field of battle for the first time.
U.S. Congressman David Price attended the “Game and Field Reveal” during the First Tech Challenge Kick-Off event at the Cisco Research Triangle Park campus on September 12, 2015
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Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, stem, STEM mentoring
Fostering science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is a business imperative for Cisco. STEM careers are an important element of Cisco IT, and factor significantly in growing our diverse pool of talent and maintaining competitive advantage.
Cisco IT supports several company STEM initiatives through mentoring, IT training, and job programs with schools in local communities. We get to provide community outreach while helping to inspire and develop the next generation of IT talent. Read More »
Tags: Cisco IT, cisco on cisco, coc-business-of-it, stem
The following post was originally published in The Hill
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy laid out an ambitious goal for our nation – to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In doing so, he inspired a new generation and helped ensure U.S. global leadership in technology for years to come.
Today, we have an earthbound, but no less important, challenge. We face a massive skills gap — by 2018, our nation will have 1.8 million unfilled jobs requiring technical skills. Our nation’s business community is uniting to address the challenge.
We need to make sure that students of all backgrounds have the skills and opportunities to pursue a career in STEM– Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This requires a national strategy, a chief component of which is STEM mentoring by STEM professionals.
Why mentoring? Because students won’t do what they can’t see. It’s one thing to teach math and science in the classroom. It’s another thing to build, explore, and engage the incredible world of science and technology that is transforming our society in real-time. Hands-on learning is the way to get a diverse group of students excited about STEM.
Participants with Techbridge Girls visit Cisco’s San Jose, California headquarters during a STEM mentoring event in February, 2015.
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Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, employee, stem, volunteerism
Over 2000 innovators came together in San Jose recently to examine ways to ensure that buildings can survive powerful earthquakes.
This was no ordinary trade show. It wasn’t an industry conference filled with engineers and seismologists, policymakers and building managers. Instead, the more than 2000 participants were students, grades 4 through 12, from across Silicon Valley who came together for The Tech Challenge, a signature event of The Tech Museum of Innovation. Cisco has been the event’s presenting sponsor for five years.
The challenge was deceptively simple: design, engineer, and build a multi-story building able to withstand powerful seismic forces. Hundreds of teams spent the last 6 months researching seismic engineering, testing materials, and coming up with strong and flexible designs.
Then, these projects were put to the ultimate test: withstanding the earthquake simulator to see if the building survived intact.
The Tech Challenge is one of the most diverse science competitions in the United States
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Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, IT skills, mentor, skills gap, stem