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How Cisco Helped Me on My Journey to Motherhood

March 20, 2018 - 36 Comments

Starting a family isn’t always an easy path. My journey to becoming a mom was a bit more of a bumpy road.

Just before I became a part of Cisco, just before the company I worked for was acquired and folded into the Cisco family, I started fertility treatments (IVF.) I had a beautiful daughter, but it had taken six long and emotional years to hold my baby girl. Another year of IVF treatments and surgery would reward my husband and me with twin boys.

Lots of medical treatments, two maternity leaves and three wonderful children later, I realized that my work had been my sanity through it all.

As a Data Analyst in the Software Provider Business Development Group I’m in charge of connecting the data and dots for the Software Provider group. Our team is responsible for the official revenue forecast that rolls up into Cisco’s published numbers. While working on the forecast, we are in charge of helping product teams win new business, identify weak point in our business sales and help fix those and drive Software Provider business forward.

Work allowed me to focus on other things, and Cisco’s flexibility allowed me to work from any place, any time on any device – which even included during the long waits at doctor’s offices for medical checkups.

And because Cisco’s market is evolving, during these times, I had different managers, different teams, and found myself taking on a new role. (Previously, I was a software engineer.) But through each change, each of my managers were understanding and encouraging, and even when I needed emergency leave, they made sure that I was surrounded with support, and welcomed back easily.My HR representative was a big help as well. She gave me all the information I’d need to make sure I had the right paperwork and the right understanding of my options for my maternity leave and medical leave options during IVF.

Everyone at Cisco seems to understand that our careers are important, but our families and just life in general come first.

Because I’m a part of a team that is mainly located at Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose, California and I’m located in Israel, there is a 10-hour time difference between me and my manager, but we always knew we could make it work. We scheduled WebEx meetings to catch up, and adjusted my work plan so I can easily move forward and complete my tasks during my working hours. My teammates (in all time zones across the globe) are aware of my time limits as well, however, we always find the best hour to talk. This showcases the dedication and commitment our leadership and teams have to one another here at Cisco.

Plus, my husband and I worked together to set up a home schedule that gives me at least one evening a week to catch up with my team mates in different time zones. Having a Cisco home office helps me a lot to arrange my day and complete my tasks while taking into account all work time zones and family needs.

Nowadays work is part of life. Don’t be afraid to share some of your story with your co-workers, they will help you to get through the tough times and you will be surprised by how many similar stories happen all around you! In addition, sharing your story will help those around you to understand the situation and work better with you.

Want to work for a company that supports you? We’re hiring! Apply now.

One big thing my journey has taught me is – don’t have just one plan, don’t concentrate on just one thing. Have several projects, plans and options. When one thing is stuck, you can move to another one. When life gives you lemons – don’t just make lemonade. Instead, find a perfect lemon meringue pie recipe, shop for all the ingredients and have them on hand. So the next time you are served lemons – you’re prepared! (But, don’t forget to water that lemon tree just in case.) 😉Nothing like being a mother of three to teach you there is more than one solution to any problem!

Also, don’t forget that miracles do happen. It might be a longer than expected journey, but – every day – miracles do happen. 😀



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  1. Thank you for sharing! It is so inspiring! I am a mom of four here at Cisco and I also get tons of ssupport, understanding and enough flexibility to have a good life-work balance and manage it all: work, kids, home and share ine car with my husband Not easy but feasible. I am super thankful to my team!

  2. Thank you for sharing Masha! Amazing

  3. Really Cisco is great and they support a lot Awesome and interesting story All the best Masha I wish a job a cisco lets see

  4. Amazing Masha !!!!!

  5. congrats

  6. Wow! What a story! Thank you for sharing, Masha!

  7. Masha you're an inspiration I love your spirt and your openness 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story with us.
    Wishing you and your lovely family all the best!

  9. Dear Masha,
    I worked with you in the past admiring your strength and determination of been a mum. It's not so trivial to some of the mums around us. I admired your eagerness and tenacity although it's not an easy path to follow – twice! Indeed Cisco is a company who enables us to keep on working and adapt our personal issues with a flexible schedule to obtain work with few other time zones. Let's us not forget we're wives, mums, we hold houses, and work full time to do the best we can. So accomplishing all this and do our job in a great way, does create a sense of victory – I feel I have it all- thank god. Thank you for sharing with us the notion that derives me to write and share as well:)

  10. Loved your story, Masha! So glad you shared!

  11. Thanks for sharing! I love your sense of humor and your fantastic attitude.

  12. you rock!!!!

  13. Beautiful story Masha , and thank you for sharing it with us , i loved the "lemon meringue pie" touch ,funny & sweet just like the picture of you 3. 🙂

  14. Awesome and truly inspiring story Masha. You rock!!!

  15. Wonderful, amazing story! You never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball and it's nice to know Cisco has our backs! Thank you for sharing your story Masha! Best of luck to you and your expended family. 🙂

  16. What an amazing, inspiring post Masha! I'm so happy for you!

  17. Warms my heart and echoes my experience. Cisco afforded me the flexibility to see milestones with my two boys. Not having to compromise on life-moments is a huge perk.

  18. "find a perfect lemon meringue pie recipe, shop for all the ingredients and have them on hand. So the next time you are served lemons – you’re prepared! "

    The best piece of advice I have heard in a long time!

    It's a rare gift to find such a balance, for which the right people around you is pivotal. Happy for you and god bless.

  19. This is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing and inspiring is all!

  20. Masha is Very talented person, a great mother and very supportive wife,
    I know not first hand.

  21. Wow, what an inspiring story!

  22. Good luck in your long journey! I am sure it always will be a challenge!

  23. As a mother of five, I cherish the flexibility that my Cisco position affords me. So many of my friends miss school plays, cheer competitions, awards ceremonies, field trips… even the after-school conversations that are such a part of motherhood. I think I'm MORE productive at Cisco because I know that when I want family time I can take it, and my family knows that I love my work and it's important to me. Feeling like I'm covering all bases without killing myself is a feeling I've never gotten anywhere else I've worked.

    • I hear you re more productive. So true. My time, my planning and my responsibility to get things done.

  24. What an inspiring story Masha, and what you don't mention is the fantastic work you do with Connected Women! Thank you for sharing.

  25. Masha, you are amazing how you juggle it all. Lots of happiness and some sleep too!

  26. Big like!

  27. Love it!! ❤️❤️❤️

  28. Thanks for sharing your story, Masha !
    I went through the same things/Struggle and had a successful outcome after multiple IVF tries across different IVF clinics. I feel very lucky to have Cisco and my management's support during this time and am so proud to work for a company which makes you feel that YOU are the priority. This makes me give back to my team and company two folds over with my work !