During a recent Blab, we talked to Cisco’s Liz Centoni who is the Vice President of Engineering Strategy and Portfolio Planning and the Chief of Staff to Cisco’s Chief Development Officer. We wanted to dive deeper into her blog post 3 Things to Look for When Choosing a Company from earlier this year, and get to know Liz even further.


Did you know that Liz is a huge comic book fan and movie buff? And while Star Wars is her favorite, The Jungle Book, The Mummy, and The Princess Bride were all mentioned during our Blab too!

The Force is certainly strong with this one! 🙂

Liz is a fierce advocate for women in technology, and while our Blab (which also included Rehana Rehman) felt like a casual catch-up over coffee, we were all left inspired by Liz’s dynamic personality and infectious spirit for our future.

Here are a few of Liz’s key quotable moments from our Blab:

“I’ve never conformed to a norm, per say. I’ve worked in engineering for my entire 16 years and I still get comments today, ‘You don’t look like someone in engineering. You don’t sound like it, you don’t dress like it.’ So I didn’t know that there was a dress code — I’ve never felt the need to conform to anything here (at Cisco).”

“It’s lily pads – your ability to jump from one lily pad to another. And what you thought were your core competencies – have changed over time. You’ve added to that – it’s amazing when you’re in some of these roles that you discover skills you didn’t think you had! And you absolutely do!”

“There’s fear because you want to do well, there’s fear because you have your objectives in mind – what if everything goes wrong? Cracking a joke lowers my temperature, and makes everyone else feel less uncomfortable.”

Grace Hopper was “…an opportunity to show what Cisco is about and attract new talent as well. Innovation is about people innovating. Innovation on its own is not what creates the thing, it’s actually people that create it. And there is no innovation without women.”

Watch the full Blab replay below to really get inspired!



Casie Shimansky

Content Strategist | Provider of Pixie Dust

Employee Storytelling