If you’ve tuned into some of the latest headlines within our industry – from the push for pay equity to the call for higher levels of diversity – you may have noticed a common theme. Fairness.

There’s a shift occurring in the dialogue – and action – around driving fairness. And Cisco is making the shift. We’re expanding how we think about fairness and leading a new dialogue on the possibilities we can create in this era of digital transformation – for Cisco, our people, our partners, and our customers.

We call this thought leadership dialogue the “Future of Fairness”. Fairness is foundational to how Cisco will connect everything, innovate everywhere, and benefit everyone. And it’s the fuel that kindles trusting relationships, ignites inclusion and the Power of Teams, accelerates participation and collaboration, and drives the evolution of Our People Deal.

The Future of Fairness will take us beyond policies and practices, beyond training, beyond programs and initiatives, and beyond the limits of any function or geography. To create it, we’re developing what we’re calling “transformational intelligence” – actionable new insights that drive breakthroughs in inclusive decision making. Developing transformational intelligence requires an expanded view of relevant data and innovative new ways of analyzing it. The insights we are gaining serve as a missing link in addressing business critical challenges – like testing and validating our complex global compensation environment for pay parity.

At Cisco, pay parity means that our people are paid fairly. We’ve always had policies and practices for fair, competitive, and performance-driven pay. Two years ago, we decided to significantly expand our capabilities to help make sure that our inclusive intentions result in equitable pay decisions. To do that, we developed what we believe is true transformational intelligence, building an innovative analytical framework that enabled us to test our compensation data.

We began our pay parity analysis in the U.S. last year and we’ve now completed testing and review of pay globally, including a second round of analysis in the U.S. Our review was comprehensive – we looked holistically across gender (male and female) plus race and ethnicity in the U.S. (as defined by the U.S. Government). We’re proud of our findings, as they revealed a healthy and equitable compensation system with only minor disparities. A very small number of employees recently received pay adjustments – just over 1 percent globally with adjustments representing less than 0.02% of our global payroll.

Pay parity is an ongoing commitment – not a point-in-time initiative. Where we find gaps – we’ll fix them. That’s the Future of Fairness in action.

Not only are we driving value for our people, we’re also leveraging our innovative approach to take a national leadership role. As a founding signer of the White House Equal Pay Pledge, we’re actively sharing our best practices and advancing pay parity for all workers by participating in the Employers for Pay Equity Consortium. Today marks Equal Pay Day – which is primarily focused on eradicating the gender pay gap. And while we support the cause – we’re also committed to expanding the dialogue. A gap is a gap – and fair is fair – for everyone.

The Future of Fairness doesn’t mean we have all the answers yet. It means that we’re expanding, accelerating, and taking on whatever’s holding us back. It means we’re shifting the dialogue everywhere – from the boardroom to the break room. We’re stepping up. Speaking out. Taking the lead, collaborating, learning, and taking action to drive fairness and create environments in which everyone can thrive.

Are you in? Lending your own unique voice to expand the conversation has never been easier or more crucial. Where is your passion for driving fairness and inclusion at Cisco, in your communities, and across the world? @Cisco #NeverBetter #StandforEqualPay #EqualPayDay



Shari Slate

Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer

SVP of Inclusive Future & Strategy