#CiscoInspiredWoman will be a hashtag reverberating throughout social media spheres this week as 6,500 attendees experience what I call, “Moments that Matter”, at the Conference for Women (CFW) in Austin, Texas. Cisco is the Exclusive Networking Partner of CFW for the fourth year in row, has 90 attendees and six speakers (three women and three men) at the Texas event, which aligns with our commitment to build and empower a more inclusive, diverse and collaborative culture.
The Texas Conference for Women on Thursday kicks off a series of three more in successive months that will be held in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and California, collectively expected to attract about 27,000 women dedicated to personal and professional growth. We will have a major presence at all of them.
We are ramping up our partnerships with organizations like CFW to empower and equip women and other underrepresented minorities with skills needed to advance in the workplace. Such partnerships not only help us to leverage diversity to spark greater innovations and outcomes for our customers, but also to attract a full spectrum of the best talent to join our increasingly vibrant workplace.
Our partnerships, combined with a number of internal leadership programs for women and other minorities, is part of a holistic approach to create an environment in which everyone can feel welcomed, respected, valued, and heard. In effect, to have a seat at the table.
Inclusion and Diversity Starts at the Top
This starts at the top. Cisco is fortunate to have a CEO who not only champions the value of inclusion and diversity, but also walks the talk. In one of his first actions as incoming CEO, Chuck Robbins formed a next-generation Executive Leadership Team to help chart Cisco’s direction.
We have made a lot of progress at Cisco to advance women and other minorities, but total, true transformation has not been realized yet throughout industry. That’s why we’re building a first-of-its-kind framework using digital analytics to identify our gaps, next-generation systems, practices and tools as well as areas of opportunity. I will detail these inspiring programs in future blogs after our Corporate Social Responsibility Report is published before the end of this year.
All this provides context for why we’re so excited to be partnering so deeply with CFW and other organizations committed like us to inclusion, diversity and collaboration. I have benefitted immeasurably from such programs and I have urged all Cisco attendees to take full advantage of CFW’s programs and networks to create Moments that Matter.
I can attest that deeply engaging with partners like CFW is one more essential thread that weaves into a mosaic of different perspectives, backgrounds and approaches that can accelerate exponential results for our customers, partners and employees.
What programs have you found most effective in advancing diversity and gender representation in the workplace?