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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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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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Girls at 80 Cisco Offices Learn About Careers in Technology

April 25 was International Girls in ICT Day, a global event held on the fourth Thursday in April each year to help inspire girls to consider a future in technology. The number of girls and young women opting to study technology-related disciplines is on the decline in most countries worldwide.

In only its third year, Girls in ICT Day continues to gain global momentum. This year, events hosted by governments, private sector companies, and nonprofits took place in more than 100 countries.

Cisco is committed to championing the important role a career in technology can play in creating far-reaching opportunities for women and girls. Eighty Cisco offices held Girls in ICT Day events in 60 counties.

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On Girls in ICT Day, Cisco Encourages Teens to Pursue Technology Careers

Teenage girls use computers and the Internet as much as boys do, but are five times less likely to consider a technology-related career.

In the United Kingdom, fewer than 1 in 5 computer scientists are women (Women and ICT), and in the United States, women hold more degrees than men and make up 58 percent of the professional workforce, yet their representation in ICT is less than 25 percent (NCWIT).

Companies around the world will try to reverse these trends on International Girls in ICT Day this Thursday, April 25 – an initiative organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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