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How Cisco is Increasing Professional Opportunities for Women in the Middle East

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.

Kaye writes:

“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.

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.

Please read the full article on TriplePundit.com.

 

 

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Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Launch at CiscoLive!

 

On June 22, the first Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) session was held at the CiscoLive! conference in Orlando, Florida. It was an opportunity for Cisco’s female customers, partners and employees and their male allies to gather for learning, sharing and networking.

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 and Maria 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.

If you’re interested in joining the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network, you can connect on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

 

You can get a taste of the session from the video and the tweets posted below. Read More »

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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.

Read More »

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Women Leading in the Workplace

Long after she made it cool to be a woman in high tech, Sheryl Sandberg is now making it popular to talk about gender in the workplace. The Facebook COO is sparking wide discussion about female ambition with her blockbuster book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”.

In my latest blog post on Inclusion & Diversity, I discuss Sheryl Sandberg’s new book and the growing role of women in the work force. Read the full post here.

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How Women Lead In the Workplace

leanin

Long after she made it cool to be a woman in high tech, Sheryl Sandberg is now making it popular to talk about gender in the workplace. The Facebook COO is sparking wide discussion about female ambition with her blockbuster book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”.

At the recent All Things Digital Conference, Sandberg said women hold just 11-21% of the top jobs in high tech. She argued however that it may not be men – or even the so-called ‘glass ceiling’ – holding women back… but themselves. She focused on what she calls the invisible barrier in women’s minds: a lack of confidence that may keep some women from aggressively pursuing opportunities.  Read More »

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