Starting a family isn’t always an easy path. My journey to becoming a mom was a bit more of a bumpy road.

Just before I became a part of Cisco, just before the company I worked for was acquired and folded into the Cisco family, I started fertility treatments (IVF.) I had a beautiful daughter, but it had taken six long and emotional years to hold my baby girl. Another year of IVF treatments and surgery would reward my husband and me with twin boys.

Lots of medical treatments, two maternity leaves and three wonderful children later, I realized that my work had been my sanity through it all.

As a Data Analyst in the Software Provider Business Development Group I’m in charge of connecting the data and dots for the Software Provider group. Our team is responsible for the official revenue forecast that rolls up into Cisco’s published numbers. While working on the forecast, we are in charge of helping product teams win new business, identify weak point in our business sales and help fix those and drive Software Provider business forward.

Work allowed me to focus on other things, and Cisco’s flexibility allowed me to work from any place, any time on any device – which even included during the long waits at doctor’s offices for medical checkups.

And because Cisco’s market is evolving, during these times, I had different managers, different teams, and found myself taking on a new role. (Previously, I was a software engineer.) But through each change, each of my managers were understanding and encouraging, and even when I needed emergency leave, they made sure that I was surrounded with support, and welcomed back easily.My HR representative was a big help as well. She gave me all the information I’d need to make sure I had the right paperwork and the right understanding of my options for my maternity leave and medical leave options during IVF.

Everyone at Cisco seems to understand that our careers are important, but our families and just life in general come first.

Because I’m a part of a team that is mainly located at Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose, California and I’m located in Israel, there is a 10-hour time difference between me and my manager, but we always knew we could make it work. We scheduled WebEx meetings to catch up, and adjusted my work plan so I can easily move forward and complete my tasks during my working hours. My teammates (in all time zones across the globe) are aware of my time limits as well, however, we always find the best hour to talk. This showcases the dedication and commitment our leadership and teams have to one another here at Cisco.

Plus, my husband and I worked together to set up a home schedule that gives me at least one evening a week to catch up with my team mates in different time zones. Having a Cisco home office helps me a lot to arrange my day and complete my tasks while taking into account all work time zones and family needs.

Nowadays work is part of life. Don’t be afraid to share some of your story with your co-workers, they will help you to get through the tough times and you will be surprised by how many similar stories happen all around you! In addition, sharing your story will help those around you to understand the situation and work better with you.

Want to work for a company that supports you? We’re hiring! Apply now.

One big thing my journey has taught me is – don’t have just one plan, don’t concentrate on just one thing. Have several projects, plans and options. When one thing is stuck, you can move to another one. When life gives you lemons – don’t just make lemonade. Instead, find a perfect lemon meringue pie recipe, shop for all the ingredients and have them on hand. So the next time you are served lemons – you’re prepared! (But, don’t forget to water that lemon tree just in case.) 😉Nothing like being a mother of three to teach you there is more than one solution to any problem!

Also, don’t forget that miracles do happen. It might be a longer than expected journey, but – every day – miracles do happen. 😀




Masha Iris

Data Analyst

Software Provider Business Development and Forecasting