First, let me say a little about how Cisco has supported diversity, inclusion and collaboration as a company culture. Cisco is a company that strives to provide the best environment for its employees. Cisco has ranked among the best places to work for many years, and has been rated the #1 best place to work in 2022.

Corporate Social Responsibility is part of our action plan, and we have included specific activities in our annual Purpose Report to meet this goal.  There is also a great belief that we sit in a pivotal role to assist our ecosystem of partners. We have created a “Talent Bridge” program that matches skills to partner needs and have even modified the Matching Engine to match global refugee candidates to partner jobs.

Cisco culture reinforces our pledge to imagine a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination; one that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. We are a global community that looks to erase bias, and we actively seek to end it by aligning with the International Women’s Day campaign to #breakthebias!

Cisco made a pledge in February 2017 to join the Multiplier Effect to change the diversity equation by leveraging the power of sponsorship and advocacy to accelerate the pipeline of extraordinary talent in the Tech Industry. For more details, please visit Multiplydiversity.com.

Recently I participated in Cisco’s Women of Impact as part of the International Women’s Day events. It was inspiring to be involved with these activities and share my journey with women and men alike.

The Journey is as Important as the Destination

Much like my journey, this is not a single day event, but is a continuous unfolding story that occurs every day. I hold much of my success to an unending passion to excel and succeed, to have an insatiable curiosity about everything, and most importantly to be genuine to who I am and with those whom I interact. Now, I know some of you practice these, some have heard it before, and possibly you have your own set of drivers for success, but these are the core beliefs that have made me who I am professionally and in my personal life.

I believe one of the paths you need to select early is where you will make career investments and how long those investments will last. As a young executive, I was very interested in following the opportunities in front of me. This meant that I would be traveling and making my home in various parts of the world. But family was always part of these decisions. I did not give up on one to do the other, there was always balance, even though it meant I was on the travelling during the week, I always had weekends that were meant for the family. The family and I benefitted from living and learning from diverse cultures.

I also learned the importance of being confident, to accept manageable risk, and to understand that asking for help is not a sign of weakness or lack of knowledge. When I moved to Singapore, I went in thinking I have what I need, but what I quickly realized is that I did not know everything I needed to know. However, my core capabilities have always been strong, what I did not know became the focus and I surrounded myself with those that could rapidly bring me up to speed. I also sharpened my listening skills to ensure I was correctly interpreting all provided information. Was this done with risk, of course, but you need to push yourself to realize the rewards associated with risk.

I have never believed that opportunity comes and sits on your lap. You need to be able to look for where you can assert your skills and knowledge to make something better. I have always believed my next job will be the one that defines my career.

I am super excited that Cisco provides an environment that allows its employees to dedicate time to important topics like the International Women’s Day I supported in the Netherlands. These are not isolated events, but many activities that create a vibrant Corporate Social Responsibility pledge to not only our employees, but to all in our extended ecosystem, and the global communities where we all need to thrive.

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Corporate Social Responsibility


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Jose van Dijk

VP, EMEA Partner Sales & Routes to Market

Global Partner and Routes to Market Sales