By Tare Youdeowei
CONTINUALLY recognizing the need for more diversity and female participation in the traditionally male high-technology industry, Cisco Systems Inc, has programmes and resources to help women develop their skills as individual contributors, managers, and executives, including an internal employee resource group dedicated to the development of women, called the Cisco Connected Women, CCW.
Over the last ten years, CCW has offered more than 4000 global members opportunities for development, networking and generating new business. It contributes to a strategic effort to enhance Cisco’s success in attracting, developing and retaining talented female employees.
Speaking about females participating in the technology industry, Olakunle Oloruntimehin, Country Manager, Cisco Nigeria said: “In the context of a male-dominated industry, Cisco is making intent-based decisions to promote inclusiveness, diversity and overall female participation in the industry. Cisco has a number of employee networks to support the development, and growth opportunities of staff; the Cisco Sales Associates Programmes, CSAP, is one of such opportunities. In Nigeria, CSAP aims to empower men and women alike helping them realise their dreams of being ICT leaders.
“It is an early-in-career development programme designed specifically for top university graduates from around the world who aspire to become the next generation of sales leaders at Cisco. The year long programme provides hands-on educational and experiential training that will prepare associate sales representatives, ASR and associate systems engineers, ASE, become successful account managers and system engineers in the Cisco sales organisation.”
Tolulope Ogundipe a female Cisco employee expressed her views on the CSAP programme stating that it provided her tremendous growth experience that stretched her skills and abilities over the elastic limit. She said,“The entire experience for me has been exhilarating; working with colleagues from over 12 countries and forming life time friendships is priceless and I am grateful for the opportunity.
“Aside this, during my time with the Cisco Amsterdam office, Cisco employees participated in trainings and workshops and Nigerian Cisco female employees got a chance to be a part of the Cisco Connected Women’s Amsterdam and the girls in ICT programmes, which train and educate girls on the roles and potential career paths present in Cisco Systems and the ICT industry as a whole. Cisco’s commitment to championing women makes Cisco Connected Women’s programme is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate diversity and inclusion in technology and business.”