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My experience at the Grace Hopper Celebration 2012


My first encounter with Anita Borg Institute (ABI) was hearing Telle Whitney, the CEO of ABI; speak about the need to empower women in technology at the Cisco Women in Technology Forum (WITF). I was impressed by her talk and the years of research and work in this important area. When I was invited to attend the ‘Women of Vision’ Awards by ABI, I was thrilled to reap dual benefits of getting inspired and charged by the award recipients and their stories and at the same time doing my bit of being a role model for graduate students eager to join Cisco. Attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), this year held in Baltimore, MD, seemed like a natural course of action for me.

The theme for GHC this year was “Are we there yet?” a question that everyone should ask themselves whether for personal goals or a larger cause.. GHC did a wonderful job to address this theme and spread it across many seminars and talks. There were multiple sessions aligning different tracks like Industry, Security, Academia, Early Career and Social Collaboration, happening at the same time, so the GHC app on my smartphone came in very handy to pick out the sessions of my interest. The app also provided details on schedule, location and bios of the speakers.

Here are my key takeaways:

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Cisco at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

At the Grace Hopper Cisco Booth in 2011

The Cisco team is gearing up for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Baltimore, Maryland!  The conference, from Oct 3-5, is presented by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery. Cisco is a Platinum Sponsor of the event.

58 Cisco employees will speak, mentor, participate and recruit at the conference. We are the third most represented company at GHC. Additionally, we have Cisco leaders exchanging ideas and sharing best practices at the Sr. Women’s Summit and the Technical Executive Forum.

If you’re looking to connect with us at GHC,  Read More »

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Chief Diversity Officer Sandy Hoffman on Diversity and Technology

I had a moment to chat recently with Sandy Hoffman, Cisco’s newly appointed chief diversity officer, and we spoke about her new role:

What does a chief diversity officer actually do?

At Cisco, I see my role as providing strategic leadership across the company on recruiting, advancing and retaining talented people in our multinational and multigenerational corporate environment. Additionally, I’ll partner with the business on embedding inclusion and diversity into existing business processes, improving the effectiveness of employee resource groups, and supporting supplier diversity.

What challenges/opportunities do you see for diversity in technology companies right now?

The changing business landscape indicates that by 2020 the workplace will be dramatically different. In order to remain competitive, companies need to create a workplace that is diverse and inclusive, adaptable, virtual, and global.

Technology companies in particular are facing challenges in the Read More »

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ICT for Girls at UN: A Resounding Success!

I am still feeling the energy from the Girls in ICT venue held in New York City on April 26, 2012 where I participated on a panel with outstanding women from Microsoft, Ushahidi and Facebook.

The conference included women pioneers from government and private industry who engaged in a stimulating dialogue on the topic of girls in ICT; to recruiting and retaining women in ICT a topic where shared accountability is a MUST.

Further, ITU Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré pointed out Cisco in his opening keynote:

“Special mention should go to Cisco, a long time partner of ITU, which today organized more than 40 different events globally – and I know that many other tech companies have also been very active in promoting events and celebrations.”

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Where are all the Women?

The future of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is exciting. Every day, people are using the Internet, computers and mobile devices in new and innovative ways.  ICT is changing the way we work, live, play and learn. And it’s opened up new employment opportunities that should appeal to men and women alike.

So, where are all the women?

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