I’m wearing red today. Not because it’s my favorite color, but because I proudly support fair pay. In the United States, today is Equal Pay Day—a day to remember how far some women and minorities are “in the red” with their pay.

As Shari Slate, VP, Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer, wrote a year ago, the issue is simply about fairness. At Cisco, we’re committed to Our People Deal, connecting everything, innovating everywhere, and benefiting everyone. We know that our edge comes from our people. So, we focus on ensuring that everyone who works for Cisco is paid fairly for the job that they do, regardless of gender.

Cisco has led the way to pay parity by signing the White House Equal Pay Pledge and sharing best practices with the Employers for Pay Equity Consortium. Across the globe, we regularly test for pay parity based on gender – both men and women – and inclusive of ethnicity in the United States. If we find gaps, we fix them. This commitment to pay parity isn’t a one-time event. It’s part of our ongoing process to make sure that people are paid equitably for similar work in the same location.

To further pay parity for new hires, we no longer ask U.S. job candidates how much they made at their last job. The ban on salary history questions is a new legal requirement in some states, but Cisco opted to make it broader. We’re basing our salaries on market data, candidate experience and expectations, and the level and location of the role.

We’ve also started offering deeper insight into market pay rates to our leaders as part of rewards planning. This information helps managers to make better decisions around compensation and leads to more transparent conversations with employees about how their pay compares to similar jobs in the same location. Better insights result in better rewards decisions, more fair pay overall, and a more satisfied workforce.

Equal Pay Day may be commemorated on just one day. At Cisco, fair pay is created every day. I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made, and I’m excited for more bold moves toward greater inclusion and transparency. Join the conversation at #EqualPayDay.

#MomentsthatMatter #OurPeopleDeal #InclusionIsHappening


Gabrielle Thompson

Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Total Rewards

Human Resources