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CONGRATULATIONS, @PADMASREE!

It isn’t everyday that you get to send a shout-out to your colleague for being recognized as one of the most influential women in tech by Elle Magazine.

Congratulations to Padmasree Warrior! Congratulations also to Elle magazine, for showcasing the growing number of female leaders and influencers who are developing new technology and running technology companies—and are just all-around impressive women.

At Cisco, we believe that we need to be a company whose environment, culture and mix resemble the diversity of the world we live in and the communities where we do business.

The truth is that there is a tangible business value from inclusion and diversity. Even more so, there are proven links between inclusion, collaboration, and innovation that drive bottom line results.  According to a study by McKinsey, the management consultancy, companies with a higher proportion of women in senior management are on average 48 percent more profitable than rivals.

However, there is much more work to do!  I believe as leaders we not only have the responsibility to lead by example but also to understand the strategic advantage gained from a team made up of a diverse set of individuals.

But for today, I hope there are females of all ages reading Elle Magazine, who get inspired to chart their own path to leadership.

Follow me: @BlairChristie

 

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Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CiscoEWN) at Cisco Live US enters its second year!

May 8, 2014 at 10:11 am PST

Screen shot 2014-05-08 at 9.26.42 AM

This blog post was written by Priscila David in collaboration with Anuja Singh and Rima Alameddine

Exactly one year ago, during the launch of the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network at Cisco Live Orlando, we asked the audience: “What would you do if you were not afraid?” On that day, we couldn’t have imagined the incredible journey we would take in answering that question and, ultimately, in building the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CiscoEWN).

CiscoEWN was created out of a collaboration between myself, Priscila David (Director, Systems Engineering, US Commercial East); Rima Alameddine (Sales Director, Enterprise NY); and Anuja Singh (Manager, Systems Engineering, Public Sector).  All three of us work in the field sales organization at Cisco and have daily interactions with customers and partners. We realized that Read More »

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Reflections on Leading in IT

The first time someone referred to me as a “woman leader in IT,” I was honestly caught by surprise.  I had never stopped and thought about the idea that I was any different than any other leader, any other woman or any other person in IT.  That single comment made me pause and reflect on where I was in my career, what had brought me to that point and if there was really anything that made me that unique or different from anyone else I worked with every day.  As I reflected, I began to think about some core experiences and traits that I believe have played a part in getting me where I am today.

First, I was never once talked to about what I could or couldn’t do because I was a girl.  I never thought twice about taking every math and science class I could in high school, going to college to get a degree in Engineering, and then starting my career in IT.  I really enjoyed science and math, and I was good at those subjects.  I wasn’t fazed by the fact that there were mostly Read More »

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“Brave” Advice from #WomenInTech

As we approach Girls in ICT day on April 24th many people are talking about women in tech and gender bias. All this talk made me think of EWIP, a conference I attended a little over a month ago.

Women in Tech session

Women in Tech session

One of the sessions featured 4 women on a panel all who have proved to be amazing women in their fields that consist mostly of men. Liz Howard, who has been programming since she was 12 and working since 14 as a software engineer. Her job now is teaching women to code at Hackbright Academy. Tasneem Raja an interactive editor for Mother Jones’, she specializes in web app production, interactive graphic and user interface design. Natalie Villabolos the women in tech advocate at Google. Last but not least Trish Mills Gray the software development manager of the Social/User Generated Content team within Expedia Worldwide Engineering.

Their common theme during the session called Women in Tech, the importance of talking to girls at a young age and letting them know it is okay to like science and engineering.  Just about all of them recounted stories of teachers telling them they didn’t think they would get an answer right and the gender bias they grew up with. Liz even encouraged us listeners to think about presents we buy or daughters, “do we really need to get them a Barbie doll, or should you change things up?” Something I had never thought about as a mother of a 6 year old. She also said to encourage young girls to watch My Little Pony, Brave and Power Puff girls. All cartoons that include strong female characters, some of them work together as a team to solve a problem.

Girls Superhero Party

Girls Superhero Party

So during this month that we are celebrating and talking about Girls in ICT and women in tech – I will pass along this advice from the panel that now spends some of their time mentoring young talent to help get them to the next level. Please continue to talk about women in tech, don’t let this be a fad, look for those instances and talk about them and celebrate them. This month my teams’ monthly magazine called FOCUS will feature Women in Technology, take a look and tell us what you think, it will be live on April 21st.

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Four Secrets of One Woman’s Success in the IT Industry

February 26, 2014 at 6:30 am PST

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 4.04.46 PMThis post was written by guest blogger Patrice D’Eramo, who, as Vice President of the Americas Field Marketing Organization, leads field marketing for Cisco’s largest geographic region with $25 billion in annual sales. 

As I reflect back on my career journey, I realize most of the positions I wanted, I wasn’t supposed to get, at least not yet. I was either too young, didn’t have “enough” experience or didn’t have tenure at the company. Others were better positioned in the network, had more experience and were already a part of the company’s succession planning.

But I never let anything stop me from applying; I submitted my resume anyway. I surprised myself each time by being awarded every job I pursued. As a result of my “do it anyway” attitude, more opportunities presented themselves to me as time went on. In thinking back on how I have been successful, I attribute it to a few things:

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