Shari Slate

Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer

SVP of Inclusive Future & Strategy

Shari Slate is a thought leader, trail blazer, and catalyst for transformation in the field of diversity and inclusion. Throughout her career, she has pushed beyond the predictable to achieve the extraordinary. In her words, “I see around corners and imagine what’s possible.” Shari has had a significant impact on Cisco’s expanding commitment and approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. When she stepped into her leadership role at Cisco 10 years ago, Shari had a vision of what was possible at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and technology. She and her team took a digital-first approach to diversity and inclusion, designing digital solutions to solve some of the company’s most critical diversity and inclusion challenges. These solutions include Diverse Talent Accelerators, which is transforming how Cisco finds and hires diverse talent; The Multiplier Effect Pledge, which leverages the power of sponsorship to accelerate the pipeline of diverse talent at every level; Cisco’s Proximity Initiative, which facilitates conversations between leaders and team members who are different from them with the intent to understand their unique experiences and challenges; and Next Horizon Community Impact, which expands community impact to include all the ways Cisco employees take action to positively impact people, society, and the planet. These industry-leading innovations have resulted in Cisco achieving its highest diversity levels in its history for seven years running, 100% of the company’s VP and above leaders taking The Multiplier Effect Pledge, over 1,000 proximity conversations, and 80% employee participation in community impact. In 2019, Shari’s role was expanded to include Inclusive Future and Strategy with a remit to design the company’s Next Horizon people strategy and be a key convener in helping the company scale and operationalize its purpose to Power an Inclusive Future for All. In 2020, Shari’s new organization was instrumental in creating Cisco’s Social Justice Beliefs and Actions and the Inclusive Future Action Office, which has oversight of a $300M budget. One of the company’s first actions was to make a $150M commitment to fund STEM education and drive technology modernization at four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Shari serves on the California State University Foundation Board of Governors and the Textio Board of Advisors. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Systemic Inequalities and Social Cohesion, the Business Roundtable Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, and the World 50 HR50x and Inclusion and Diversity Impact Communities.


Driven by purpose and our commitment to social justice

Cisco’s purpose is to Power an Inclusive Future for All. We deliver on our purpose by bringing together all our strengths and resources.

Commemorating Juneteenth: Together We Prevail

As Cisco commemorates Juneteenth for the second straight year – more than 150 years after the last Black American slaves were freed – I see my family’s history being validated, and see myself represented.

Social Justice and the hills we climb

Cisco Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer, Shari Slate, shares how we commemorate Social Justice week.

December 11, 2019


Proud of where we stand today, inspired by where we will go from here

At Cisco, we are committed to a culture where all people feel welcomed, valued, respected, accepted and heard. We also believe it’s important to be transparent about our diversity, which is why we publicly release our data annually in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

October 25, 2019


Celebrating Inclusive Leaders

At Cisco, we know true inclusion can’t happen without inclusive leaders. That’s one of the reasons we partner with HITEC to develop and support senior Hispanic business and technology executives and rising leaders.

December 13, 2018


Between where we stand today and where we go from here, there’s a bridge

At Cisco, we believe the true promise of inclusion and collaboration is to create a culture where all people are welcomed, valued, respected and heard. A culture where the full spectrum of diversity can fully participate in the business. A culture that empowers its people to accelerate social change and create thriving communities by supporting the causes they care about.

December 11, 2017


Leap by Leap

When it comes to creating environments where everyone can thrive, our "best team” is one that’s 70,000 strong. We’re all in.

November 13, 2017


Moments that Matter

Moments that Matter Right now – someone at Cisco is having a moment that matters. Taking a birthday off. Celebrating a promotion. Investing the day in developing new skills. Tending to a family crisis. Caring for a sick loved one. Welcoming a new child into the family. “Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of […]