Galentine’s Day – or a holiday to celebrate the joys of female friendship – started out as a fictional holiday on the American sitcom Parks and Recreation. It was created by the infamous Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and held on February 13th. What may have started out as a made up holiday (life Friendsgiving and Festivus before it), however, quickly filled a void for women everywhere.
I mean, what’s not to love about women coming together to celebrate one another?
Sister. Best Friend. Homegirl. Champion. Similar to Leslie Knope, I consider myself to be a positive force for the women in my life – and those I have yet to meet. I thrive on being that one girlfriend that forces you to pause, reflect, and remember how truly great you are. From the women in my family, to symbolic “sheroic” characters in the movies, to thinking back on the impactful conversations I’ve had with the women I spend every day with at work – I am inspired continually.
Each of us know a woman who, as the alarm goes off, and before she even opens her eyes is concerned about her family. She’s already thinking about the day ahead, the tasks, the work, her mental health, and how many minutes she has to get the kids up and ready for school before she can make it to the gym. This all happens before 8:30am, before most have even thought to have their first cup of coffee yet.
I know you, I see you, and this post goes out to you – the women of Cisco, my Cisco Sisterhood, this Galentine’s Day. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders day in and day out – only to neatly pack it away, and try to make the world a truly better place through our incredible technology. You not only have my support, but my respect. I admire your courage to work hard towards changing our world, all while remembering to be fabulous!
Through Cisco, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with women globally in high tech but more importantly collaborating to bring innovation and sheer magic to Cisco. During these conversations, we laugh hard and we work hard. We take FaceTime calls with our children, maybe grab a bite to eat, jump on meetings with co-workers around the world, and we make tough decisions, close deals, and yes – we even dance. There is always time to dance.
We bring our true selves to work, and we’re encouraged to use our unique traits to make our teams stronger, our work more diverse, and our world a better place for all.
Bringing our true selves to work can either be an escape from the realities of our lives, or it can be the perfect link between personal and professional. It’s tough, there’s no way around that! I have even caught myself feeling disappointed in my performance or still questioning whether or not I’m good enough. Its human nature, but that doesn’t mean we have to go at it alone – and my Cisco Sisterhood has always been there to keep me on my toes. We listen to one another and talk through the challenges to identify solutions – it’s something that can easily be done from a professional sense and from a personal perspective.
Who are the women behind Cisco’s technology? They’re cancer survivors, and those who care for ailing parents. They’re the women who are 100% present for their sick children, and those who have been afflicted with illness themselves. They’re wives and sisters and friends. They’re passionate about giving back, and have the wildest most wonderful hobbies you could ever dream of. They’re brilliant. They’re talented. They’re powerful.
I mentioned magic earlier, well these women bring a power and grace to Cisco that truly makes it not only one of the best places in the world to work for women, but by and large for anyone who is passionate about diversity in the workplace – and the world.
If you are already in my Cisco Sisterhood – thank you. And if you’re not just yet – I can’t wait to meet you. Until then, let’s fill the world with a little “Galentine’s Day” love and hop on Jabber, Webex Teams, or social media to send a message of support, encouragement, inspiration, or one of thanks to the women in our lives who create our Sisterhoods.
I know I am thankful for my Cisco Sisterhood.
Want to join our #WomenInTech? Apply now.