Do you remember what first inspired you to follow the road into the tech industry? A mentor or person that pushed you to take the first step?

My road to tech is a twisty, curvy one. I’ve had many firsts along the way – a secretary becoming a network technician, a network technician becoming a webmaster, a webmaster becoming a server administrator – then yet another twist when I joined Cisco as part of the Cisco IT Digital Transformation Program. I joined Cisco as a project manager in 2015, after 10 years of wanting to work here!

The map leading me down the continued road to success is still a bit murky but I feel like I’m “home” now at Cisco because of my colleagues.

I am flat-out inspired by the women here at Cisco. I have my map but am now blessed with guides who help interpret the map, let me know which fork to take – and, most importantly, lead the way as they experience “firsts” in their careers.

Lisa Lockhart, a program manager for GIS Network Services, is one of those inspiring women and helped 15 young women take the first step of their journey into tech. Lisa helped organize the first-ever Girls in ICT Day at Cisco’s Richmond, Virginia, sales office, providing the students with inspirational speakers and a Women in STEM /IoT Scavenger hunt.

The students got another first – the immersive, lifelike experience of the Cisco TelePresence® IX5000.

Girls at the Richmond STEM event
The girls got to experience Cisco tech and see themselves changing the world with it!

As Cisco employees, we use these products every day and forget just how cool they are. Take a look at the picture – the “oh wow!” expressions on the faces of the students.

Lisa said, “It was a deeply gratifying experience… Our mission of further raising awareness about and interest in STEM opportunities was accomplished.”

Some comments from the attendees:

“Today strongly increased my knowledge of technology and different job opportunities brought by STEM fields. Today made me want to learn more!”

“I thought the lectures today were very inspiring. Not only did they inspire me to pursue a career in STEM, but they compelled me to work even harder at pursuing my goals.”

“I learned that women can have amazing, impactful jobs in STEM-related careers.”

Cisco employees not only take a lot of first steps, leading the way in innovative products, but we’re definitely Joe Cool while doing it.


Want to join the WeAreCisco tribe? Look for openings here.


More on Girls In ICT at Cisco

See photos from the global Cisco Girls Power Tech Day
Inspiring Girls to Careers in Tech
Anything is Possible for Women in Tech


Elizabeth Brummond

IoT Program Marketing & Communications PM

Cisco IT