It can be lonely for a woman in the technology field.
At the college level, men earn 82 percent of engineering and computer science degrees. And while women make up 47 percent of the overall workforce, they constitute only 27 percent of the science and engineering workforce. Isolation and lack of mentors often prevent women from pursuing and advancing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
View our feature on the Huffington Post ImpactX about women who are excelling in the technology field and serving as mentors for other young women.
Dr. Akila Sarirete leads a networking technology program for woman at Effat University in Saudi Arabia. Her goal is to expand employment options for women and help advance their careers.
This week TriplePundit featured Cisco Corporate Affairs Senior Director Kathy Mulvany in its series on leading female CSR practitioners. Read the complete interview below. Thanks to TriplePundit for permission to republish this interview.
TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.
Kathy Mulvany: As senior director of corporate affairs, I’m responsible for helping to steward Cisco’s overall corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, build awareness of our CSR programs around the world, and engage with a broad set of stakeholders including customers, shareholders, governments, nonprofit partners and advocacy groups. Within Corporate Affairs, I oversee a number of teams, including CSR strategy and planning, marketing and communications, the Cisco Foundation and corporate grant making, CSR reporting and stakeholder engagement, as well as our veterans program.
I’ve been a part of Cisco’s Corporate Affairs organization for seven years and with Cisco since 1996. One benefit of working for a large corporation is that I’ve had the opportunity to move around within the business, which keeps it fresh while broadening my expertise and professional network. Having worked in various Cisco organizations over the years, including Corporate Marketing, Latin America Marketing and Office of the Chairman and CEO, I can honestly say I’ve found my passion in Corporate Affairs with CSR.
3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?
We are extremely proud to announce that Cisco has been recognized by Working Mother magazine’s prestigious 2013 100 Best Companies list. For five consecutive years we have appeared on this sought-after list, and this year we’re extremely proud to announce that Ileana Rivera, Senior Director at Cisco and IT Regional leader for Latin America, has been named as Working Mother of the Year in the same publication.
Ileana is responsible for managing all IT related client interactions for the Product Sales and Services Sales organizations and to the overall user community in Latin America. Her main areas of responsibility include: User Experience support, Service Capability enablement, IT leadership, and Customer Engagements across Latin America. Ileana has more than 13 years of experience in the life science/medical device industry, and has been with Cisco for the last 5 years.
On the topic of being a working mother, Ileana says, “Being a working mother is the art of multitasking! Your mind is always running faster than your actions, you are always Read More »
Today on Triple Pundit, Leon Kaye writes about the challenges Saudi Arabian women face in finding meaningful employment, and how the Cisco Networking Academy program is helping to create more opportunities for them. Of the nearly 17,000 Networking Academy students in Saudi Arabia, 42 percent are women.
“More women in Saudi Arabia are able to complete higher education, but they still have a difficult time finding gainful employment. Depending on the source cited, as much as 34 percent of Saudi women are unemployed, five times the unemployment of men in this nation of 28 million.
Cisco is one company working to increase professional opportunities for women under the constraints Saudi society imposes on anyone living and working in the country. Throughout the Middle East, Cisco has worked with universities, technical colleges and education ministries to embed technical training within these schools’ curricula. The results could add up to a more technically-savvy workforce, better jobs for women and more long-term business opportunities for the Silicon Valley-based networking equipment giant.”
More than 85 percent of the female graduates from the Cisco Networking Academy program at Effat University in Saudi Arabia have either found jobs or decided to pursue advanced degrees.
Among the many great speakers at the event were Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Cisco, who spoke about leadership and Sheila Jordan, SVP, Communication and Collaboration IT, who led a how-to discussion on personal branding. The panel discussion moderated by Shari Slate, Cisco’s Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist, highlighted Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, IT and Cloud and Systems Management Group andMaria Teresa Lensing, AT&T Vice President Signature Group.
I particularly enjoyed hearing from Shahd Attar, Cisco Marketing and Engagement Manager, Emerging Solutions Advisory. She is the first full-time, permanent cisco female employee in Saudi Arabia. She spoke about co- founding CellA+, a nonprofit professional women’s networking group of more than 2000 members today.