Cisco Celebrates Innovation and Diversity with Students at Girls Power Tech Event
Cisco hosted its annual Girls Power Tech event across its regional offices, where 300 female students from public and private schools had the opportunity to interact with Cisco executives, technology professionals and women working already in technology. They could hear inspiring stories about their hosts’ careers and their vision of what the future holds.
Cisco’s Girls Power Tech is a global mentoring initiative that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider educational and career paths in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). As part of the initiative, Cisco employees worldwide spend a day with girls age 13 to 18 and engage with them through office visits, tours, presentations, and mentoring. Students get to meet women role models and men who are advocates for women in technology. They also get the chance to use Cisco’s latest TelePresence and collaboration solutions to interact with other girls across the globe and with successful women working at Cisco and elsewhere.
During the event, Hani Raad, Managing Director – West Region, Cisco Middle East, highlighted how the technology sector presents an amazing opportunity for the young generation. They can be part of an exciting field that is continuously changing the way we connect to everyone and everything. The full-day event also included a panel discussion with women leaders from Cisco and an opportunity to participate in a number of hands-on activities using Cisco’s latest solutions.
“Diversity and innovation are a part of Cisco’s DNA and our annual Girls Power Tech event is a living embodiment of our values. Every year, our employees volunteer to give back, teach and mentor others, with the aim of driving positive impact in our broader communities. Our aim is to inspire girls and young women across our region to uncover their unique talents, expand their horizons and gain a better understanding of the many opportunities available in technology and STEM-related careers and education,” Hani Raad said at the event.
As a guest speaker, HE Mrs. Majd Shweikeh, Public Sector Development Minister and Ex. ICT Minister of Jordan encouraged the young girls present to follow their passion with dedication and commitment. Through her inspirational story, she encouraged women to be fearless, work hard to break the glass ceiling and be successful. “We are undergoing a technological revolution in the Middle East. If the region is to be at the forefront of this transformation, we must be a leader in nurturing, developing and deploying STEM talent. Our children must be equipped with the necessary analytical, creative and critical thinking skills. We need to get young women excited about future careers in STEM and days like Girls Power Tech, with our next generation of leaders, will help inspire girls and young women to pursue a career driven by curiosity.”
Women comprise a mere 27 percent of workers in the computer science, engineering, and physics fields in some of the world’s emerging economies. With only 24 percent of Chief Information Officer positions at Fortune 100 companies held by women, they represent a large, untapped resource of technology talent.
For nearly two decades, Cisco has made it a top priority to build a diverse talent pool to meet gender diversity challenges in the technology industry. In addition to driving diversity at the workplace, Cisco is also committed to encouraging young women discover career opportunities in ICT through global initiatives such as Girls Power Tech.
Aligned with the UN’s global Girls in ICT Day, Cisco’s Girls Power Tech is held annually and offers a special learning opportunity for female students to connect with Cisco and other mentors on-site at Cisco offices around the world. The event is not just a visit to Cisco’s offices, but a chance for students to experience the power of Cisco’s digital innovations first-hand, and gain insights into topics such as IoT and innovation, as well as the importance of online privacy and the responsible use of technology. Similar events were held across Cisco offices worldwide.