Celebrate: Cisco

“As a leader, what are you doing to champion diversity and inclusion at Cisco?”

From left to right:

Susie Wee, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, DevNet Innovations • My leadership team is over half female in a male-dominated industry. When I hire, I don’t make compromises—I hire the best person for the job. Through team sports, I’ve learned how to build teams that can learn, collaborate, compete, and win. The strongest team is a diverse team that plays with heart.

Liz Centoni, Senior Vice President and GM, Computing Systems Product Group • I focus on creating an environment every day where people feel they belong. I call it the safe zone. As a leader, that’s my responsibility. Fear is the biggest inhibitor; the fear of being judged, of making mistakes, of being different. Take out the “fear factor” and innovation thrives, ideas flow, and execution is on hyperdrive.

Yvette Kanouff, Senior Vice President and GM, Service Provider Business • It is so important for us to be active participants in diversity and inclusion. I am proud to have cofounded the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and the Women in Cable Telecommunications TechConnect mentorship programs; to be executive sponsor for Cisco’s Conexión Latino Employee Resource Organization; and to have founded The Multiplier Effect, a Cisco sponsorship program.

Kin-Ching (KC) Wu, Senior Vice President, Operations Architecture • Leading by example is how I embed diversity and inclusion into hearts and minds. Active involvement at Cisco can include resource groups, mentorship/sponsorship, and speaking opportunities; each is so important. As leaders, the more our teams see us personally engaged, the more others are inspired to take action.

Cindy Goodwin-Sak, Director, Strategy and Operations, Worldwide Systems Engineering • At Cisco, we foster an inclusive and diverse culture where everyone feels safe, respected, valued, and heard. By building a community of support where everyone can thrive and share their unique perspectives, we can bring exponential value to our employees, customers, partners, and communities.

Shari Slate, Vice President, Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer • I’m focusing on delivering innovative solutions that benefit everyone—like expanding our commitment to fair pay, taking a stand for social justice throughout our communities, and accelerating diverse talent across the full spectrum of different backgrounds, abilities, genders, generations, cultures, ethnicities, orientations, and perspectives.

Ehrika Gladden, Vice President, Technology and Market Development • Creating a pipeline of diverse talent is critical. This means I actively advocate and mentor extraordinary talent committed to excellence—this is a top priority for me. I see the potential in people, and I act as their partner, mirror, sounding board, challenger, and supporter of their journey.

Kate O’Keeffe, Senior Director, Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs (CHILL) • As a champion of innovation, I’ve always seen the creative value of diversity. And now that I’m pregnant with a daughter, I feel an even greater urgency to drive disruptive inclusion. I’ve built a team that is ethnically, culturally, and gender diverse to have the best pool of talent and ideas.

Judy Priest,  • I like to encourage women to pursue leadership in technical roles. STEM positions, in general, see higher female attrition, about 50 percent after just 12 years. To offset that, I actively mentor female engineers, lead and advise teams, give technical talks to increase understanding and exposure to new technologies, and work to inspire innovation.

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