“Cisco will be a critical voice advocating for fairness and equality – we’re committed to driving long-term solutions that build fairness into policies, practices, and laws that break down barriers. We must protect and advocate for the equality of transgender, intersex, and gender-expansive people inside and outside the workplace. Cisco is dedicated to taking a stand against any actions that threaten the equal rights, safety, and dignity of all people and will continue supporting the LGBTQ+ community.”

– Cisco’s Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Francine Katsoudas

Today, some 50 companies – including Cisco, Google, Apple, Nike, and MassMutual – signed a joint business statement issued by the Human Rights Campaign in support of transgender equality. This statement is in response to the recent news of a proposal to significantly narrow the definition of sex, which could remove all transgender rights and protections.

I’m proud that Cisco is speaking out on this issue and has consistently voiced opposition to any legislation that limits our employees’ rights and freedoms. We’ve worked across our communities to take effective action in the past, including our opposition to the controversial “bathroom bills” in North Carolina and Texas, for example, and we will continue to work to create an environment of fairness and equality – where everyone can thrive.

At Cisco, we have worked hard to build a culture of full-spectrum diversity, inclusion and collaboration. It’s part of our core values – to connect everything, innovate everywhere, and benefit everyone – and we believe it makes good business sense. These core values guide us as a company and demand that we take a stand against actions that threaten the equal rights, safety and dignity of our people, both inside our company and in the communities where they live.

These values are also part of Our People Deal – a strategy I’ve been involved with since its inception, and one that I’m particularly passionate about. Our People Deal is basically a contract that articulates what the company expects from its employees, and what they can expect from Cisco. It encourages employees to bring their whole selves to work and to create an environment of trust and mutual respect – an environment where our integrity defines and leads us. Where we say what needs to be said and hold ourselves accountable.

Cisco will continue to be a critical voice in the fight for fairness and equality on behalf of our people. We will continue to invest in programs that support our rich culture of inclusion and diversity – programs like our 25,000+ member Inclusion & Collaboration Community, which provides a safe space for employees to network, and share diverse perspectives and experiences. Programs like our Be the Bridge Annual Giving and Service Campaign, which supports organizations working for racial equality and social justice, with a match for employee donations. And our Employee Assistance Program that provides a personal concierge to help employees navigate the aspects of life that matter most.

Fran said it best, “we’re committed to advocating for long-term solutions that build fairness into policies, practices, and laws that break down barriers.” So let’s stop building barriers, and together, let’s build a bridge to fairness and equality for ALL.

We invite you to bring your voice to this discussion. How do you think companies can create more inclusive environments where all employees feel welcomed and supported?



Charlie Johnston

Senior Vice President

Human Resources at Cisco