Recently I attended a training for my career development. I’m a VCSE specialist in MANO for Service Provider at Cisco, and this was an opportunity to get some pre-sales training with a Service Provider focus. I got there early, and had a few moments to get settled and look around.
90% of my fellow trainees were men.
This isn’t new. I can flash back to when I was attending University my classes – and they looked exactly the same. I was surrounded by men – in one class, I got excited just to see three (yes three!) other women.
20 years have passed since University. Things are improving, but the same trends remained.
After all this time, I’ve realized that I can be the change I want to see. The only thing that it matters is my confidence in my knowledge, skills and work. I can be the proof that diversity of thought matters.
When I did my internship in Mexico, and used some of my work projects towards my final thesis, I was excited to put all the theories into a real-world project. There was a shock as I, a young woman, walked in to present the project to executives in a traditional Telecommunications environment.
They were all men.
I was ready with new technology that would improve their business, from turning traditional Telco environment (traditional Telephony infrastructure) into a IP data network infrastructure (where the internet is passing by). Could I convince them? After a month of running sessions, we aligned ideas and new technology and they got it. I provided the influence and the opportunity.
I’ve been at Cisco for over five years now. Cisco is putting a lot of their resources towards making sure that from now forward, any young person walking into that room of executives will see someone like themselves sitting at the table.
The women that I work with here are so good, and they’ve earned the admiration in what is still a male-dominated environment. We all create better results for Cisco.
Our point of view in this company provides new results and new avenues to innovate for our customers. Our opinions may be different, but that’s good – that’s how new ideas happen. When men and women combine our talents and “brain structures” we can create new opportunities, together.
We create impact. It’s up to us.
Here at Cisco we have great examples of how to be a successful woman in a technology company. I have had the opportunity to talk with many of them and they empower me to continue with my passion for technology. I am part of some internal groups like Connected Women or Women in Science and Engineering, where we can share experiences. It is amazing how much you can learn from them
Now, we make the call to both women AND men. Let’s raise the bar, break the barriers, encourage women and prove the girl power!
Want to work at a company that empowers #WomenInTech? We’re hiring. Apply now!