Leap by Leap

December 11, 2017 - 1 Comment

Three years ago, Cisco took a transformational leap to explore the possibilities we were creating through the convergence of diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and technology. Our company-wide journey started with the belief that – beyond simply the right thing to do – Inclusion is a bridge. A way to connect diverse perspectives. To spark new ideas. Explore new possibilities. Tap into the power of digital transformation. Challenge the status quo. Inspire innovation. And unlock the full potential of our people.

Inclusion puts the everyone in the core values of Our People Deal – Connect everything, Innovate everywhere and Benefit everyone.

So – how are we doing? Today I’m pleased to share our company’s progress within the Society section of Cisco’s 13th Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report (CSR) – Accelerating Global Problem Solving. I invite you to dive in and understand what we’ve accomplished in FY17 and how we’re innovating across the company for the future.

Building on last year’s momentum, we’ve continued to make significant improvements in overall representation that have resulted in the most diverse Cisco since 2000. We’ve achieved growth in several key areas – 38.5% of our global Executive Leadership Team (ELT) are women. In Southeast Asia, women represent 31% of our team and over a third of our ASEAN theatre business is run by female leaders. Seven female executives are now part of the Asia Pacific leadership team. Our programs investing in developing and promoting women are achieving new levels of success. In FY17, more than half of the women who were promoted to management had attended at least one of our targeted programs, contributing to a highly significant 6% increase in women in director and manager roles. See our updated diversity snapshot here.

Within the many accomplishments we’re highlighting in the CSR, I’m most excited to share how we’re expanding our impact in our global enterprise and collaborating across every function and region to deliver innovative new solutions to some of our most business-critical challenges and opportunities. We’ve worked together with our partners in HR, Community Affairs, Supplier Diversity, Public Policy, Public Relations, and Legal to accelerate the value we’re driving on key priorities – like pay parity, attracting a highly competitive share of diverse talent, and advocating for fairness and inclusion throughout our communities.

But the best way to attribute our progress is this: Inclusion and Collaboration are now being shaped from everywhere in Cisco. Our idea of a “best team” when it comes to creating environments where everyone can thrive is the team that’s 70,000 strong. We’re all in.

In a year marked by extraordinary events, we’ve chosen to come together in extraordinary new ways. Together, we’ve created thousands of courageous conversations on difficult topics like race, injustice and inequality. Together, we’ve taken a stand to help protect the equal rights, safety, and dignity of our people and our communities. Together, we’ve taken on unleashing our full power and potential – leap by leap.

Nelson Mandela reminds us “It is only impossible until it’s been done”. Our work is not yet done – but the momentum we’ve created and the leaps we’ve taken are extraordinary. I’m proud of our progress – and so proud of what we’ve now made possible. Together.

Interested in learning more? Read Cisco’s FY17 CSR Report: Accelerating Global Problem Solving by Tae Yoo – Cisco’s SVP of Corporate Affairs – for an overview of our progress and Cisco’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report for the full story of how we’re making positive difference for people, society, and the planet.


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  1. As a 19 year veteran, I have witnessed Cisco mature in the area of inclusion and diversity. Having worked for AT&T Bell Labs in the 1990s, I have seen what a top tier organization does to attract, retain and develop a diverse workforce. The effort that I now see within Cisco is world class especially around talent and leadership development.
    Developing the pipeline of diverse technical talent should also be an area of focus. Reaching back into the high schools and sponsoring graduate degrees was something that Bell Labs would do, rather than depend on the existing pipeline. I assume our Networking Academies are being leveraged to discover new talent.
    AT&T had a program called One Year on Campus (OYOC), that recruited promising undergraduates and would pay for their masters at any university of their choice and 2/3 of their salary. If it were not for that program, I would not be where I am today. Although expensive, it created a fantastic pipeline of talent for AT&T. Would Cisco be so bold to consider such a program?