Today I’m pleased to share our progress as documented in the Our Society section of Cisco’s 12th Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report – Accelerating Global Problem Solving. This report details our success in making a positive difference for people, society, and the planet. I invite you to dive in and understand what we’ve accomplished in FY16 and how we’re innovating to build for the future.

What does it really take to accelerate global problem solving? I believe it starts with creating the best teams representing a full spectrum of different backgrounds, cultures, affiliations, abilities, work styles and perspectives. This expansive view of diversity is fundamental to who we are at Cisco —and the possibilities we see through the convergence of diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and technology are key to where we are going.

Last year, we delivered innovative new solutions for some of our most business-critical challenges and opportunities–like pay parity, attracting a highly competitive share of diverse talent, and advocating for fairness and inclusion throughout our communities. These priorities are part of our expanded view of inclusion and collaboration at Cisco.

Pay Parity

Our Pay Parity initiative builds on our long-standing commitment to fair pay and is being integrated with our existing strategies of pay for performance and market competitiveness. As a founding signer of the White House Equal Pay Pledge, we are proud to be taking a national leadership role in sharing best practices and advancing pay parity for all workers.  We’ve also joined forces with some 24 companies to date, across multiple industries, to form the Employers for Pay Equity Consortium to help make the promise of fair pay a reality for all employees.

Attracting Diverse Talent

In FY16 we made significant strides in attracting and interviewing more diverse candidates, including a 14-percent increase globally in the number of women candidates interviewed, an 18-percent increase in Asian candidates interviewed, and a 20-percent increase in African-American/Black candidates interviewed. As a result, diverse hiring this year has increased significantly over last year—up over 4 percent for women, 13 percent for African American/Black candidates, 14 percent for Hispanic/Latino candidates, and 30 percent for those candidates representing American Indian, Native Hawaiian, or more than two races. We know we still have a long way to go as a company and as an industry, but it’s clear our attention on diverse recruiting and interview panels, and our managing bias training for leaders is starting to pay off.

Advocating for Fairness and Inclusion

There’s an exponential shift occurring in the dialogue, and action, around driving fairness and inclusion – not just at work but in our expanded communities. And we’re proud to help lead that shift.  We’re moving beyond traditional policies, practices, and programs to focus on fairness, equal rights, and social justice to create an inclusive environment for our people inside and outside the workplace. We’re expanding our vision of how we will think and talk about fairness in the era of digital transformation and how we will create new possibilities and opportunities for Cisco, our people, our partners, and our customers.

Creating a company that truly reflects the diversity of our employees, our customers, and the broader world is critical. We still have a ways to go on this journey, but we are committed. Our approach to inclusion and collaboration is being shaped from all levels of the company. We’re focusing on the fundamentals and driving new outcomes – building a pipeline of diverse talent and the next generation of global problem solvers and inclusive leaders.

Interested in learning more? Read Empowering Global Problem Solvers for an overview of our progress and Cisco’s 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report for the full story of how we’re making a positive difference for people, society, and the planet.


Shari Slate

Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer

SVP of Inclusive Future & Strategy