Becoming a parent looks different for everyone. Some are blessed for this journey to come swiftly. For others, the road is bumpier and has many pit stops along the way. After all, one in six couples struggles with fertility. And after a year and a half of trying to conceive, I found myself facing the real possibility of IVF being the most likely path to parenthood for my husband and me.

Allison wearing a black dress and beige hat while holding her baby bump.
Photo by CLJ Photography

Realizing this, I began seeking career opportunities matching my skillset and goals with employers offering fertility benefits. Having previously worked in the IT (Information Technology) industry, Cisco was at the top of my list. Admittedly, when I applied, it felt like a long shot. Even after three interviews, I was still sure the odds were so low of being selected. But somehow, I did it. They chose me. What they did not know when they chose me was that working at Cisco would allow me to start my family without the stress of the heavy financial burden that comes with undergoing infertility treatments.

The reality is it costs an average of $12-40K out of pocket for ONE round of fertility treatments with no insurance coverage. One of the best parts of not having the heavy financial burden of IVF was that I could show up 100% for my job, feeling extremely motivated to make an impact.

Don’t get me wrong, fertility treatments take a lot of time with appointments, procedures, phone calls, coordinating medications, and can quickly become super overwhelming and take up a lot of emotional bandwidth. Not to mention, stress has a direct impact on creativity and production. So, while Cisco supported me medically and financially, my manager was there for me emotionally. I am so thankful I opened up and shared my journey with her. She was understanding and encouraging throughout the entire process because even while undergoing treatments, I was highly motivated and working hard — and still am — to understand the massive scope of projects the team I had just joined works on.

Allison's baby photographed by L&I.T Photography.
Photo by L&I.T Photography

Along with keeping my stress low and leaning on my incredible support system, I have found throughout this process how valuable sharing my experience with others has been, and doing so has allowed me to surround myself with an even larger support system and become part of a support system for others. After all, with one in six couples struggling with infertility, it’s affecting friends, family, AND coworkers.

Now, I am happy to say that I just returned from maternity leave, where I spent just over four blissful months with my new super smiley baby girl. I love being a mom, and I am so thankful to have had so much time with her — another incredible benefit of joining Cisco — but also found myself excited to return to work.

I recently told a friend, after referring her for a position at Cisco, “I want all my favorite people working here with me because I love working at Cisco.”

We work hard here, but we are all human beings at the end of the day, and coming across such a large company that values people individually and respects their time and needs seems like such a rare find. I find comfort in knowing I show up to work every day for a company that shows up for me. I look forward to making a continued impact and love the flexibility and opportunities that come with working at Cisco!


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Featured banner image by CLJ Photography


Allison Grant

Partner Marketing Manager

GPM Marketing Partner Programs