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Future Innovators and Entrepreneurs: The IoTWF Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge is Open

GirlsForIoTInnovation sqIn October at the Internet of Things World Forum we announced the Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge.  This challenge was announced to help bring more women into the sciences as we connect more of the unconnected with the Internet of Things. I’m pleased to announce that the IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge is now open for submissions!

This challenge came about as a way to help address one of the biggest challenges to the Internet of Things – the dearth of technologically trained workers.  Over the next few years, technology jobs –those requiring a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM), are expected to grow twice as fast as non-STEM jobs.  While the demand for this workforce is growing, women are a significantly under-utilized resource.  In the United States, a little over 18% of computer science and engineering degrees are awarded to women – while in general more women are getting bachelor’s degrees, the number of women in STEM has declined over the last 20 years from highs of 20.9% for engineering in 2002 and 29% for computer science in 1991. Read More »

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Cisco Shares Workforce Diversity Data

In Cisco’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report released today, you will find a more complete perspective on the gender, ethnicity, and seniority make up of our company – in the United States and globally. While we have shared information about the diversity of our workforce since 2005, the report offers greater insight into our people and their backgrounds, experiences, cultures, affiliations and points-of-view.

At Cisco we are focused on ensuring we have a culture that fosters inclusion and enables our diverse mix of talent to thrive. I became Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in June of this year and I want to make this a personal and professional priority for everyone at Cisco. I began my CHRO tenure with the August appointment of Shari Slate as Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer. You will hear more from Shari as she and her team build on our existing foundation.

Our numbers are mostly consistent with our past disclosures and we recognize there are areas where we need to increase our focus and improve. Simply put – our business and people strategies require more. Enhanced reporting helps shine the light on performance against our goals – highlighting gaps, blind spots and opportunities – and intensifying accountability. We welcome that light.

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Statement of John Chambers on Funding for the E-Rate Program

Statement from Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers:

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today unveiled a landmark proposal that has the power to transform our nation’s classrooms and put the power of the Internet at the fingertips of all teachers and students.

Connecting students and teachers in the classroom is one of the most important things that our nation can do to dramatically improve our educational system. Connected classrooms will provide students with real-time access to the world’s libraries, incredible science experiments, and a wealth of video, apps and other rich media content.  It also will connect students in rural areas, as well as enable students to take innovative and specialized courses at other schools and other districts.

The effects of this decision will be felt for decades. Not only will it encourage more students to enter the fields that make up STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — but it will also help make our students and our nation more competitive on the global stage. The nations that are on the leading edge of the digital revolution will be the ones that lead in terms of innovation, job creation and economic growth.

The E-Rate program forms the bedrock of the federal government’s effort to connect our nation’s schools and libraries to the Internet. This proposal, if adopted, will breathe new life into the program and will help our children and grandchildren prepare for an ‘Internet of Everything’ future where technology is integrated into all aspects of work, life, and education.

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Cisco IT Managers Break Record for Largest Group Volunteering Event

Yesterday, 500 Cisco employees assembled kits for two of our nonprofit partners, making the World Wide IT Manager’s Offsite (WWITMO) “Giving Back” event Cisco’s largest volunteer effort ever. Two-hundred volunteers assembled hands-on activity kits for Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) and 300 assembled hygiene and snack kits for HomeFirst at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California.

Cisco volunteers packed the room to help RAFT and HomeFirst assemble kits

Cisco volunteers packed the room to assemble kits for two Silicon Valley nonprofits, RAFT and HomeFirst

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Judging the Future at Cisco’s Silicon Valley Innovation Jam

As a recent graduate of San Jose State University (SJSU), I’ve seen how technology can improve education. Wi-Fi access in every classroom is eliminating the PowerPoint lectures of old and replacing them with 21st-century lesson plans. Students are interacting with professors using social media, answering questions with a tweet or streaming videos during presentations to make learning more engaging. At Cisco’s Silicon Valley Innovation Jam on October 24, I served as a pre-finalist judge and saw how over 60 SJSU students would use this same technology to solve social problems in the near future.

By 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. Today, I can name more than 10 “smart” devices in my house that require an Internet connection. As more people, processes, data, and things become connected, the “Internet of Everything” will require people to change the way they work, live, play and learn. Students at the Innovation Jam were tasked with creating a solution that harnesses these connections to improve society – whether education, healthcare, energy, retail, or city/public services.

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