“It was an amazing day. It is so inspiring that the guidance of mentors helped me choose my career. It is unbelievable how 11 minutes helped me so much.”
Can a few hours really change your life? Can an 11-minute conversation with a stranger inspire you to change your career aspirations?
At Girls Power Tech (GPT), 5,498 young women from all around the globe gathered at 104 Cisco sites that offered the event this year. The teenage girls received mentorship, learned about the Internet of Things (IoT), listened to panels and guest lectures (including our very own CEO Chuck Robbins, CFO Kelly Kramer and EVP Chris Dedicoat), and competed in hands-on challenges.
Inspiration and excitement filled the air as the girls experienced an afternoon like no other. The day flew by as they shared their passions, dreams, and took selfies with robots. The magic was enhanced by the smooth transitions and the hours of behind-the-scenes planning and logistics. Without 238 site leads and 1,600 generous volunteers, GPT would not have been possible.
Months before the event, a group of passionate Cisco employees from around the globe began planning and hammering out the details of the event. From seeking sponsorships and donations to organizing t-shirt deliveries and finalizing speakers and events, these volunteers went above and beyond their daily Cisco duties to plan a truly life-changing day.
Whether you are passionate about supporting diversity and promoting inclusion, or you simply want more women to hold STEM careers, volunteering with Girls Power Tech is for you. The joy on the girls’ faces when they figure out the solution to the IoT challenge and the thrill of seeing the event grow from year-to-year makes every moment spent planning worth it.
You’ll see the passion spark in young women. You’ll see their excitement when they realize that STEM careers are achievable and cool. And after the event, the feedback from the students makes it that much more rewarding:
“Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I can make it. I love Cisco, networking, and engineering. I have never been so sure of what I want to do in my future until today.”
“I didn’t think I would like [STEM] at all and didn’t even consider doing anything in technology but [GPT] has changed my mind.”
This is why we do it. We do it to make a difference. No matter your personal beliefs or political views, we can all agree that these girls are the future. They are the future of Cisco, IT and the world. Whether your involvement in GPT impacts one girl or 500, it matters. You can make a difference.
So, if you are on the fence about getting involved or have never considered getting involved before, just do it. It’s right at your fingertips, so what are you waiting for?