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Sheryl Sandberg’s Japan Visit

Hirai and Sheryl NewsletterCisco SVP of HQ Sales – Japan, Yasufumi Hirai, and I had the privilege to meet Sheryl Sandberg earlier this month at a private luncheon reception sponsored by Nikkei Weekly News. We were so inspired by her. She gave me a hug when I mentioned I was from Cisco. She says “John Chambers has been so supportive with Lean In and Cisco is doing amazing things.” Prior to the luncheon, she met with Japan Prime Minister Abe.

Sheryl mentioned she is not an expert in Japan but understands that the challenges for Japanese women are much harder. She clearly did her homework on Japan provided useful data on Japan’s diversity demographics. Her advice to Japan:
1. Address stereotypes and bias that hold women back. For example, women are viewed as caregivers and nurturers. Men are viewed as providers.
2. Change corporate policies like the gender pay gap, long work hours and re-invite women back after maternity leave. Make men feel more comfortable working with women.
3. Achieve more balance in the home.

Enjoy the photo! The Ustream of the Japan Evening Session is below. Sheryl presents at 1 min. 30 sec. I truly felt her positive energy.

Global Women’s Leadership Summit

Video streaming by Ustream

パネルディスカッションの内容も含めてとても興味深いです!

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Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Launch at CiscoLive!

 

On June 22, the first Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) session was held at the CiscoLive! conference in Orlando, Florida. It was an opportunity for Cisco’s female customers, partners and employees and their male allies to gather for learning, sharing and networking.

Among the many great speakers at the event were Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Cisco, who spoke about leadership and Sheila Jordan, SVP, Communication and Collaboration IT,  who led a how-to discussion on personal branding.  The panel discussion moderated by Shari Slate, Cisco’s Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist, highlighted Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, IT and Cloud and Systems Management Group and Maria Teresa Lensing, AT&T Vice President Signature Group.

I particularly enjoyed hearing from Shahd Attar, Cisco Marketing and Engagement Manager, Emerging Solutions Advisory.  She is the first full-time, permanent cisco female employee in Saudi Arabia. She spoke about  co- founding CellA+, a nonprofit professional women’s networking group of more than 2000 members today.

If you’re interested in joining the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network, you can connect on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

 

You can get a taste of the session from the video and the tweets posted below. Read More »

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A solo trip to Russia

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When you hear about Russia, what images come to your mind? Grand Palaces, matryoshka dolls, vodka?

Since studying Russian history at school and in my endeavour to visit as many countries as possible during my lifetime (I’ve currently visited 42), I’ve always wanted to visit the largest country in the world and to see the Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral and the Winter Palace with my own eyes. Read More »

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How Women Lead In the Workplace

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Long after she made it cool to be a woman in high tech, Sheryl Sandberg is now making it popular to talk about gender in the workplace. The Facebook COO is sparking wide discussion about female ambition with her blockbuster book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”.

At the recent All Things Digital Conference, Sandberg said women hold just 11-21% of the top jobs in high tech. She argued however that it may not be men – or even the so-called ‘glass ceiling’ – holding women back… but themselves. She focused on what she calls the invisible barrier in women’s minds: a lack of confidence that may keep some women from aggressively pursuing opportunities.  Read More »

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JUMP up and be counted

It was no great surprise to hear the 2012 McKinsey report Women Matter1 say that women are still under-represented at board and leadership levels. This slow-but-steady progress isn’t for want of trying. In fact, the report notes there are more learning and development initiatives aimed specifically at women than ever before.

This increased investment is a result of a clearer-than-ever business case for the advancement of women. It’s vital to solving complex business challenges and increasingly important that company leadership reflects its customer base. The McKinsey report also highlights the link between the leadership behaviours that women tend to adopt more frequently than men, such as collaborative decision making and their approach to problem solving.

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