Sponsorship fuels a rich and diverse pipeline

March 7, 2019 - 4 Comments

Take The Multiplier Effect pledge today.

Sponsorship is essential to creating rich and diverse teams. Having a rich pipeline of diversity is very important for me as I believe diverse teams are the best teams. Two years ago at Mobile World Congress, Cisco introduced The Multiplier Effect, which asks leaders to take a pledge to sponsor at least one extraordinary diverse candidate in their organization and challenge their peers to do the same. We started this movement based on the desire to help change the equation for diversity in the tech industry. Recently, I had the honor of becoming the executive sponsor for The Multiplier Effect and look forward to working with leaders at Cisco and across every industry to bring the power of sponsorship to the forefront.

At Cisco, accelerating diversity is a top priority across our global enterprise. We believe a focus on inclusion is not simply the right thing to do—it really works. Inclusion is the bridge that connects diverse perspectives, challenges the status quo, and unlocks the full potential of our people. When we truly connect people with different backgrounds —gender, generation, race, ethnicity, orientation, ability, nationality, religion, veteran status, background, culture, life experience, strengths, and perspectives — we can collaborate at exciting new levels and build a bridge to possible.

Last week, Cisco reaffirmed its commitment to accelerating the pipeline of extraordinary diverse talent at our Diversity in Tech reception at Mobile World Congress. Nearly 100 attendees learned about the impact sponsors can have on elevating career paths and the importance of paying it forward through The Multiplier Effect. Guest speaker Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author, economist and founder of the Center for Talent Innovation, shared key insights around the effects sponsors can have from her latest research. Sylvia’s book, Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor, significantly influenced the creation of The Multiplier Effect. Cisco’s Gerri Elliot, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, and Esther Ayorinde, Director of Operations, Worldwide Sales, gave attendees an intimate glimpse into their dynamic sponsor-sponsee relationship. And CEO Chuck Robbins closed out the event by asking every attendee to take the pledge and shared how we want to be a model for the tech industry, learn from our peers and continue to make progress through the power of sponsorship. What started out two years ago as one bold idea is taking root as leaders and companies across every industry leverage the power of sponsorship to create rich and diverse talent pipelines.

Join the movement
Let’s change the equation for diversity across every industry together. At Cisco, we’re all in. Hundreds of leaders have already signed the pledge and challenged their peers to do the same.

Cisco helps to accelerate diversity and inclusion with The Mulitiplier Effect pledge at Mobile World Congress

Whose success will you make your business? Join the movement and take The Multiplier Effect Pledge today! Together, let’s multiply the pipeline of extraordinary diverse talent across our companies and industries through the power of sponsorship.

Share your story
Has a sponsor been a champion in your career? Or have you sponsored extraordinary talent to the next level in their career? We’d love to hear your stories and best practices on sponsorship. Contact us to tell us your story at info-multiplydiversity@cisco.com and follow the conversation on Twitter at #MultiplyTechDiversity.


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  1. These buzz words don’t go far. This company is probably the most extreme one when it comes to ethnic and cultural nepotism and bias, especially in engineering organization. (The employee directory is couple of click away).
    These attempts to cover up on the ethnic discrimination by using politically correct terms, like “gender bias” and “inclusion”” just further undermine the mistrust of employees in the leadership.
    Oh, almost forgot about the “equality” thing which I like the most , let’s not forget to post our pay check here.
    Just my 2 cents

  2. What a great article. I love how the concept goes hand in hand with #BeTheBridge. I like to use the term #BuildYourBridge I consider my commitment to supporting diversity and encouraging others to be the bridge on to my future. I've seen and know the benefits. #DiversityWorks. That's everything.

  3. I'm thrilled to see this next step in The Multiplier Effect. Thanks Maria and to the whole initiative team.

  4. Great article. Thanks Maria! for being an executive sponsor for The Multiplier Effect. This will open doors to more diverse talent at the workforce