Last month, the Business Roundtable modernized its principles on the role of a corporation. The purpose for many corporations now encompasses this list: value for customers, investing in employees, fostering diversity and inclusion, dealing fairly and ethically with suppliers, supporting the communities in which we work, and protecting the environment. Cisco CEO @ChuckRobbins is one of the nearly 200 CEOs who signed this statement of purpose, and Cisco is fully acting on it across the board.
Fostering diversity and inclusion happens to be an area where I am particularly passionate. Throughout my career, being a female leader has come with its challenges and its rewards. Through my learnings, I am invested in making an impact on women’s lives around me – developing, sponsoring, and mentoring others so we can make a bigger impact together.
At a global level, companies in every industry have room for improvement in becoming more diverse. Many companies have made tremendous progress, including Cisco with our current executive leadership team being 62% diverse in terms of gender and ethnicity. However, more work needs to be done as we trickle down deeper into organizations, so it’s important to stay connected on initiatives, programs and best practices that work!
It all comes down to starting somewhere, sharing what works, and continuing to act on it; we are committed! To show my investment, I recently hosted an event with the women on my extended leadership team where we workshopped initiatives to make a difference on our future inclusion and diversity best practices. We even brought in some of our executive leadership team to speak to the group and share their stories, leadership journeys, and their perspectives on fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Coming out of this event, I feel inspired to make an impact! I’ve challenged my team, and I challenge YOU to take The Multiplier Effect pledge to sponsor at least one extraordinary diverse person to the next level of their career and challenge three of your peers to do the same. Sponsorship is key to accelerating the pipeline of diverse talent in every industry and is essential for sustained innovation and success. If we all commit to doing this, we WILL change the equation.
When we are committed to full-spectrum diversity and inclusion, we get diversity of thought, experience, ideas, and best practices. This is the differentiator that will result in stronger teams, more innovative companies, and better results for our partners, customers and communities.
I’m committed to #MultiplyTechDiversity for the benefit of tomorrow, and hope you are too. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can change the equation for diversity.