Powering an inclusive future for all — Guaranteeing everybody has an equitable seat on the desk



Have you ever ever walked right into a room and felt such as you had been the one one who appeared such as you?

Or sat down at that boardroom desk and immediately had your position diminished or marginalized due to your identification or background?


In highschool, I used to be advised I might do something I needed…besides be an Engineer. So in true “Kanyatta vogue,” I set my sights on a future in science, know-how, engineering, the humanities, or math (STEAM). This expertise helped me understand there’ll at all times be methods and folks (together with ourselves) who will attempt to restrict our greatness, however that day (and daily since) I made a decision to take a daring subsequent step into what I knew to be my future.

Kanyatta Walker Women in Tech early years

Pursuing my diploma in engineering didn’t come straightforward. There have been few girls — and even fewer African People — in my school applications to function position fashions and for me to lean on or look as much as. With out classmates or educators who appeared like me or got here from an identical background, I needed to pave my very own approach…or carry my very own chair.

The good Shirley Chisholm, girls’s rights advocate, champion for the underrepresented, and the primary Black congresswoman, as soon as stated…

“In the event that they don’t offer you a seat on the desk, carry a folding chair.”

I’ll develop on that thought with, “higher but, let’s re-design the desk.”

Cisco & Girls in Expertise: A strong partnership

To actually transfer the needle, we can not proceed to fill vacancies utilizing the identical flawed hiring methods, insurance policies, and practices and recruiting from the identical expertise swimming pools. The important thing to alter will probably be influencing the best way the desk is designed and the way key selections are being made across the desk.

That’s precisely why after I joined Cisco, I knew that Girls in Expertise (WIT) needed to turn out to be one in all our native strategic sponsors. Our methods and beliefs align in designing a desk the place everybody single one in all us — throughout the total spectrum of variety — has an equitable seat on the desk and feels welcomed and celebrated.

During the last decade, I’ve had the rewarding alternative to volunteer with WIT, a non-profit group who empowers younger women and girls to excel in STEAM from the classroom to the boardroom, and is dedicated to creating Georgia the state with the very best share of girls within the STEAM workforce.

Cisco’s continued partnership with WIT has empowered many younger women and girls in 2022

Cisco IT Impact on Women in Tech

Yearly, WIT hosts the Girls of the 12 months in STEAM Awards Gala — their signature occasion celebrating feminine visionaries, ground-breakers in enterprise, and memorable leaders who make a distinction of their communities. Being on the sector at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA alongside greater than 1,000 technologists, pals, and household was surreal. The environment was alive with an electrical power and pleasure as we honored girls leaders and males allies for empowering STEAM of their private circles daily.

Kanyatta at the women in tech organization gala Kanyatta at the women in tech organization gala Kanyatta at the women in tech organization gala Kanyatta at the women in tech organization gala Kanyatta at the women in tech organization gala

As I appeared across the gala, I noticed tables crammed with numerous teams of individuals — girls of all ages and male allies from a various array of races and backgrounds, and in various phases of their careers and at differing job ranges — who got here collectively to rejoice the excellent girls in know-how within the state of Georgia.

To me, this was an ideal instance of how all of us can work collectively to speed up equity and inclusivity. It was such a humbling expertise to see school college students and new hires obtain the identical degree respect and stroll the identical pink carpet that Executives and Vice Presidents walked on the exact same night.

Cisco’s dedication to fostering a Acutely aware Tradition

At Cisco, we see inclusion as a bridge to alternative — alternative to attach numerous views, discover new prospects, and most significantly a possibility to “Energy an Inclusive Future for All.”

We all know that when younger women and girls are empowered to be their most genuine, brave selves, individuals of all gender identities, races, ages, sexual orientations, cultures, and backgrounds profit from their brilliance. And once we proceed to put money into these younger women and girls, we’re additionally investing in designing equitable tables inside industries, communities, and workplaces which might be extra inclusive for all.

Wish to be taught extra about WIT and how one can get entangled?

Girls in Expertise (WIT) empowers women and girls to excel in science, know-how, engineering, the humanities, and math (STEAM) from the classroom to the boardroom. We do that by offering our neighborhood with schooling, publicity and expertise. By sharing the tales of profitable professionals throughout the STEAM fields, we encourage all generations of women and girls to put in writing their very own futures and select their very own destinies.

Immediately, WIT has over 20,000 members in Georgia, 48,000 members worldwide and a staff of greater than 250 volunteers who ship skilled growth and networking alternatives to every of our professionals and applications at no cost to greater than 4,000 college students.


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