At Cisco, we are committed to a culture where all people feel welcomed, valued, respected, accepted and heard. A culture where the full spectrum of diversity – inclusive of gender, ethnicity, race, orientation, age, ability, veteran status, religion, culture, background, experience, strengths and perspectives – is enabled through our technology to fully participate in the business. A culture built on fairness, dignity and respect, free from bias, discrimination and negative behavior. A culture that positively impacts people, society and the planet.

We are also committed to being transparent about our diversity, which is why we publicly release our data annually in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. Our 2019 CSR Report was just released. While we still have more work to do to achieve our diversity goals, I’m extremely proud of our progress. I’ll share a few key highlights here, but I encourage you to read the full report.

Expansive Commitment to a Diverse, Inclusive and Conscious Culture

This year, we expanded the definition of the culture we are building at Cisco to be a ‘Conscious Culture’ – which we define as a culture where our people are aware or “conscious” of their environment; actively monitor, protect, and care for each other and their environment; and are accountable, empowered and expected to speak up about any actions that don’t align to our values. We believe that everyone at Cisco is responsible for fostering a conscious culture where we feel safe and can thrive.

This expansive commitment to a diverse, inclusive and conscious culture that positively impacts people, society and the planet is fundamental to who we are as a company and a key factor in Cisco recently being ranked #1 on Fortune’s 2019 list of the World’s 25 Best Workplaces.

Most Diverse Cisco Since 1998

Today we are the most diverse Cisco since we began tracking our diversity in 1998. Our progress is due to the commitment of our CEO Chuck Robbins and our executive leadership team to advancing diversity and inclusion both inside and outside the walls of Cisco, and the work our People & Communities organization does each and every day to move the needle faster and farther.

Under Chuck’s leadership, we have one of the most diverse executive leadership teams in the industry. Forty-six percent of our executive leadership team members are women, and 38% are ethnically diverse. As part of our broader Inclusive Workforce Planning strategy, each of our executive leaders has an action plan in place to hold their organizations accountable to specific diversity and inclusion goals.

Moving the Needle, Still More Work to Do

In fiscal year 2019, we achieved record representation of women at 26% of our workforce. A record 31% of new hires were women, a two-percentage point increase from last year. We also saw a 4.8% increase in women in director and manager roles. We increased representation for African American/Black to 3.8% and Hispanic/Latino to 5.6%. Representation of African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino employees has increased every year since 2016. This improvement in representation has been broad-based and is being driven by record-level hiring for these ethnicities, with African American/Black at 5.1% and Hispanic/Latino at 6.7%. (See our full diversity snapshot.)

While we’re moving the needle, we can and will do better than this. Digitization is providing us with faster and better access to our diversity data, which is enabling us to see and act on our diversity opportunities in a way never possible before.

Increasing Cisco’s Impact on People, Society and the Planet

From a community impact perspective, we continue to move closer to our goal to achieve 80% community impact participation by 2020. In fiscal year 2019, we achieved 51% participation. Cisco made $25.5M in donations to charities by employees and through Cisco matching, and our employees logged an impressive 447,935 volunteer hours.

This year, we innovated our approach to community impact by expanding the portfolio of programs though which our employees can take action and incorporating new forms of digital employee engagement, analytics and automation. This new approach will not only enable us to achieve our goal—it will increase Cisco’s collective impact on people, society, and the planet.

Building the Bridge to Possible

While we still have more work to do to achieve full spectrum diversity at every level of the company, I’m extremely proud of the progress we’ve made between where we began and where we stand today. And I’m inspired by where we will go from here, as Cisco continues to build the bridge to possible for our employees, customers, partners, suppliers and communities around the world.



Shari Slate

Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer

SVP of Inclusive Future & Strategy