How Cisco Supports its Superheroes
Did you know that dressing and acting like a fictional television icon can actually make children more likely to finish a boring, repetitive task? It’s true, according to a recent study published in the journal ‘Child Development.’
Since I am a child at heart, there was only one conclusion for me: I am Wonder Woman.
…but not the Wonder Woman with the well-toned arms and flowing locks. Like many of the working parents within our Cisco family, my version of Wonder Woman looks a little different.
I am not a trained fighter, but you can believe I will fight ‘mommy fatigue’ and logistics barriers to get the job done. Instead of the bulletproof bracelets, my wrist sports an Apple Watch to track upcoming team meetings and daycare pickup reminders. And while you might hear ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ quietly playing in the background during an after-hours call, you will also receive the needed information expected from a communications manager.
In short, Cisco empowers me to feel like a superhero by supporting me in both my roles: Global Virtual Sales and Customer Success (GVS&CS) team member, and active mother and community member in Small Town, USA.
Technology is elevating the ‘gold standard’ for working mothers, and Cisco is truly leading the way. To illustrate, let me introduce you to ‘Cisco Kid’ Rowan – my three year old sidekick who would wear his ‘Cisco animal’ shirt every day if he could! In fact, I had to purchase a bigger size while at a recent meeting in our Raleigh, North Carolina offices because my growing son outgrew his beloved original.
While I was pregnant with Rowan, I did what many parents-to-be do…I created a plan. And, like any parent knows, nothing goes as planned when kids are involved! During my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a common blood pressure-related issue for many expecting mothers. While the issue is resolved for most mothers once the delivery is complete, I continued to have challenges. In fact, during a routine, outpatient check-up a week later, I was rushed back to the hospital, as the doctors were fearful I was on the verge of a stroke.
Fortunately, my Cisco family had my back the entire time. From words of encouragement to a full transition during my maternity leave, my peers and leaders empowered me to be the best new mom possible and to focus on my health first.
That hasn’t changed. With the benefits from our People Deal (Cisco’s Employee Value Proposition) I can continue to be a superhero in my personal and professional life.
When volunteers are needed at Rowan’s preschool? Cisco’s Time2Give (the five days Cisco gives us to give back each year) has me covered. Flu season hits? The generous PTO program allows me to nurse my son back to health. And now, the Cisco maternity leave policy will allow me the time to adjust to being the mother of two when Rowan becomes a big brother.
Above and beyond the day-to-day benefits Cisco provides, there is one that is truly priceless. I get to work at a company that is literally CHANGING THE WORLD. Now THAT is a massive superpower!
For anyone expecting their first child… like every superhero story, there will be conflict. This dual life is not easy, and you too must find new ways to manage your competing roles.
Here are a few lessons I have learned:
1.Be transparent. By providing full transparency, my work family and personal family can live in harmony. For example, I pick up my son from preschool every day at 5 p.m. CT., and my peers are aware of this standing commitment. That doesn’t mean I can’t join a call later for my APJ and Greater China counterparts; it is about making every 24 hour day work best for you.
2.Talk with your kids about your job. While the principles of Customer Success are a little advanced for my toddler, I make a point of sharing my travel stories – where I am going, what is popular there and what kind of foods I eat. This allows Rowan to feel connected to me, even when I am not at home. Furthermore, it educates him on the bigger world around beyond what he experiences at home.
3.Ask for help. Life is not simple. Nor is work. Do not be afraid to ask for help. That is the beauty of the ‘Power of Teams’ mentality at Cisco. By supporting your fellow team members and expecting the unexpected, you can set realistic expectations for yourself, your co-wo
rkers and your family.
Although your cape may be disguised as a suit jacket or your shield may resemble a laptop, just remember there is a superhero in all of us.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Cisco Moms out there.
Want to be a Superhero? We’re hiring. Apply now.