Cisco driving inclusion through leadership and mentoring programmes 

by Arun Shankar   8 May, 2017
Cisco driving inclusion through leadership and mentoring programmes 

Frida Kleimert, Channel Lead East Region, Cisco Middle East.

Cisco is focused on having a multi-generational, multi-cultural community that fosters inclusion and enables a diverse mix of talent to thrive. Cisco has always been at the forefront to hire, nurture, promote and support women, especially in technical fields and leadership roles. Cisco has designed specific programmes for women at different levels in their career.

Development programmes like DARE and JUMP, aim to develop next-generation women leaders who are authentic to themselves and are equipped with skills and behaviors needed to contribute to the future success of Cisco. They are designed to help Cisco’s leaders identify female talent across the company, broadening its pipeline of diverse talent for the long term.

“We believe that a diverse workforce will help in better understanding of customer needs and create innovative solutions to meet these needs. It is essential for us to build a diversity of skills, experiences, and perspectives into the organisations culture at every level. We continuously work on long-term strategies and tie up with organisations to increase the number of women in the fields of science and technology,” explains Frida Kleimert, Channel Lead East Region, Cisco Middle East.

Cisco has various programmes and resources for women in order to develop their skills as individual contributors, managers, and senior executives. These programmes engage women in the spirit of connection and mentorship. They are given an equal chance to prove themselves, to work their way up the corporate ladder and hold executive leadership positions.

Some of Cisco’s programmes include:

Cisco Empowered Women’s Network

This is a network of Cisco customers, partners, and employees joining together to make a difference for women in IT. This network of professionals seeks to create inclusion and diversity in technology and business by specifically enrolling and mentoring girls and women. The year-round programme offer tools for its members to enrich and grow their careers, while paving the way forward to empower women in the global community. Cisco Empowered Women’s Network is a platform that demonstrates how Cisco is redefining the technology space and its commitment to championing women.

Women of Impact Conference

This is a global and regional day-long event, that focuses on encouraging professional women to network, find mentors and role models, hear successful women executives talk, and connect globally through a telepresence connection. It aims to connect, inspire and empower women in technology.

Girls Power Tech

Cisco is committed to inspire young women to build careers in technology through global initiatives such as Girls Power Tech. This helps students learn about opportunities that the technology sector holds. The initiative’s focus is on mentoring girls and young women about career opportunities in ICT and encouraging them to become the next generation of innovators who will use technology to change the world.

Connected Women’s programmes

Cisco is also currently partnering with Reach, a non-profit mentoring programme dedicated to supporting and developing the skills of young female professionals and help them unlock their true potential through structured mentoring and professional support. “At Cisco, we believe that by partnering with Reach, we can help develop and nurture a new generation of female leaders from and for the Middle East: confident, driven, knowledgeable, experienced, compassionate and inspiring,” explains Frida.

These programmes provide mentorship and leadership opportunities to help foster growth and development for women employee’s careers. Cisco offers several programmes that inspire women to work in technology and grow their network of professional allies and mentors across functions and regions, where they could gain useful knowledge about career development and personal growth. Female executives at Cisco are always finding new ways to help the young generation especially females to grow in their technology career.

Cisco has been recognised across the world for making a meaningful difference for its employees and customers. Cisco appears in the World’s 25 Best Multinational Workplaces and qualified because it appeared on 12 national best company rankings this year, Saudi Arabia being one of them.


By creating well-planned activities with inclusion and diversity objectives, Cisco is actively helping women through their career progression, according to Frida Kleimert at Cisco.


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