The Cisco Systems Incorporated recognizing continually the importance and the need for a diverse and major female participation in a highly male inclined technology industry has put together resources and set up programmes 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.
In the last ten years and over the Cisco Connected Women has offered more than four thousand (4000) global members the opportunities for development, networking and new business generation there by contributing strategically towards enhancing Cisco’s success in attracting, developing and retaining talented female employees.
Talking in line to female participation in the information and technology industry, the Country Manager Cisco Nigeria Olakunle Oloruntimehin 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.”
She continued “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.”
Seconding and verifying Olakunle Oloruntimehin was a female Cisco employee Tolulope Ogundipe expressed her views over the Cisco Sales Associates Programmes, CSAP, saying it provided her tremendous growth experience that expanded 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.
She continued saying “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.”