Inclusion & Collaboration: A passion for challenging the status quo
The things on a person's desk or their office can say a lot about them.
Q: What’s your name and role?
I’m the Inclusion and Collaboration leader for Customer Experience and Global Sales & Marketing, and I have the best job in the world. I help leaders shape their perspective on the value of diversity in their organization.
Q: How does that work?
That includes how we hire, develop and engage with our talent. We look at the entire employee journey and implement actions to increase hiring, development, and engagement with diverse talent.
We meet quarterly with senior executives and their staff to discuss their diversity data and align on actions and priorities for the upcoming quarter and the year.
Q: Tell us about some of the things on your desk/in your office that are special to you and why?
A: A couple of things on my desk that are important to me are books. We believe sponsorship is key to hiring, retaining and accelerating the pipeline of diverse talent. I believe this time of “crisis” is the catalyst for transformational change on the topics of diversity, inclusion, racial injustice, and social inequality, including all topics related to minorities. Although I have not yet finished the book, so far, it articulates that timing is more important than having the highest IQ.
As an effect of the “crisis” (pandemic, isolation, racial injustice), I believe my virtual proximity has significantly increased. Rather than hallway conversations in the office, thanks to Webex, everyone now has the same virtual accessibility when discussing diversity, inclusion, or talent. Working from home has leveled the playing field, and the compounding of racial injustice has made my job exponentially more important.
Q: Now that most of us are working from home 100%, what are some new things you’re doing?
A: Wednesday afternoons I spend with my son, either biking or bowling. One of my team members calls it “wellness Wednesdays.” Although I can't honor it every single week, it has been great for both of us.
Q: Any special guests during your work day?
A: Yes, my dog Emma. She’s a 14-year-old rescue who keeps me company. Isn’t she photogenic? She is my constant companion during my workday, and I let her think she’s my protector.
Q: What are you most excited about working at Cisco right now?
A: The opportunity to support leaders to drive meaningful change. I’ve worked for GE, Home Depot, and Nestle, and I’ve been incredibly impressed with the engagement and attentiveness of Cisco Leaders regarding Diversity and Inclusion. It’s a true dialog with our leaders and they are actively listening and curious. And I feel as though our leaders are ready for the challenge.
Nov 11, 2020 at 10:32