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Girl Scouts Wowed by Cisco Technology

Members of my Global Delivery Center (GDC) Public Sector Team at Cisco’s campus in North Carolina recently spent an evening with more than 60 Girl Scouts, who all have a passion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Girl Scouts, North Carolina Coastal Pines (GS-NCCP) serves girls and adults in 41 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. Through this program, girls develop leadership skills while learning the important of personal responsibility, the value of goal setting, the spirit of teamwork, and the thrill of accomplishment.

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The girls visited Cisco on July 18, when 15 Cisco employees and college interns gave them a tour of Cisco’s lab, TelePresence technology, and Security Operations. The Public Sector team led the TelePresence portion of the night, during which Cisco’s TelePresence technology was shown off to the girls with an exciting game of charades and Pictionary.

RTP_GS_2At the end of the game, we shared with the girls how the TelePresence technology is used during our day-to-day lives at Cisco. They were amazed to hear that we were able to meet with people in other states and countries all over the world with such ease.

Cisco’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Padmasree Warrior, recently wrote “Girls at a young age must have something that sparks their interest in technology or science.” As the Girl Scouts entered the conference room to see another group of Girl Scouts in another building on three large screens, they shouted out beyond disbelief, “Oh! They can hear us?” By the end of the night, with quotes like “I want one of these at my house!” it was easy to see that Cisco definitely sparked every Girl Scouts’ interest in technology.

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To Ignite Interest in STEM, Remember Our ‘Sputnik Moment’

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post

As I watch the unfolding story of cyber outlaw Edward Snowden skipping around the globe, I’m struck by the talented young man who employers “fought over,” despite the fact that he had no formal STEM education. In contrast, the National STEM Conference in Austin last week brought together over 1,500 folks to ponder and discuss the critical need for more American students to be knowledgeable in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

While many young people today are brought up with some innate sense of these skills, as Snowden was, this conference dared us to imagine the innovation and creativity that could come from this future generation if they were provided the formal education to reach their full potential in these fields.

All the participants at the National STEM Conference brought diverse ideas to the table. Corporate leaders mixed with curriculum developers who chatted with government officials who socialized with teachers. More than one session and hallway chat highlighted the desperate need to interest and retain younger and younger students in STEM education. Fewer conversations occurred about the relevancy of field. Even fewer attendees spoke about their own education “journeys,” when a STEM learning moment drove them into their current career path.

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Women Have the Skills to Stand Out in STEM Fields

This blog was initially published on the Huffington Post

This week, my boss, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, is being recognized at the U.S. STEM Solutions Summit as one of the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

This is a great recognition for Cisco’s efforts in developing talent for the technology field. On the other hand, the list of Fortune 100 CEO’s is disappointing because of what’s missing – women. Only 18 of the 100 leaders listed are women.

In the United States and around the world, there are far more technology-oriented jobs than candidates to fill them. According to the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI), jobs in U.S are projected to grow 45 percent between 2008 -2018 in computer systems design and related services, a math intensive field.

Further, a new study from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program says 20 percent of all jobs in the United States require a “high level of knowledge” in at least one STEM field. Half of these jobs don’t even require bachelor’s degree, yet they pay $53,000 on average—10 percent higher than jobs with similar educational requirements.

Clearly, the computer technology represents a good career choice with strong possibilities for employment and professional growth. Yet it appears that this message isn’t reaching a broader audience of women.

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Cisco CEO John Chambers Recognized Among 100 CEO Leaders in STEM

June 18, 2013 at 8:00 am PST

“Given the rapid speed of change in today’s global marketplace, a country must invest in its greatest asset—its people—and train them to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM].” Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers

A skilled workforce is the backbone of a successful and competitive economy. Unfortunately, here in the United States, we are falling behind on educating people in the STEM fields that are vital to the technology careers that our society depends on.

At Cisco, we are working to change that through our educational investments, particularly our Networking Academy program.

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Cisco Shares Expertise on STEM Education at National Conference

STEMThe U.S. National STEM Solutions Conference is just around the corner and the Cisco CSR team will be among the more than 2,000 business, education, and government leaders from around the United States in attendance at the Austin Convention Center from June 17 to 19, in efforts to continue change in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) education, policy, and workforce development.

Cisco CSR, along with its partner STEMconnector, will use the conference to advocate for more STEM education to better equip the students of today with the education and resources necessary to become the leaders of tomorrow.

During the three-day conference, the Cisco CSR-funded EdTech: Revolution in Education and 100 CEO Leaders in STEM reports will be showcased. EdTech: Revolution in Education is a first-of-its kind effort to create an inventory of education technology resources. The 100 CEO leaders in STEM report features interviews with 100 CEOs, including Cisco CEO John Chambers, which highlight the committed leadership necessary to win the STEM education battle.

On Tuesday, June 18, Cisco’s Senior Director of Corporate Affairs, Harbrinder Kang, will give brief remarks during the release announcement of the EdTech report and later during the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM dinner. On Wednesday, June 19, Cisco Networking Academy Director, Gary Coman will participate on the panel Bridging the Gap: the Pivotal Role of Community Colleges and Career and Technical Education. With 10,000 Networking Academies in 165 countries, Cisco has long been a pioneer in training students around the world to become ICT professionals.

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