Sharing profession alternatives and recommendation with the ladies of Bennett School



Bennett School was based in 1873 within the basement of St. Matthews Methodist Episcopal Church in Greensboro, NC. They’re one in all solely two all-women, Traditionally Black School and Universities (HBCUs) in america — and their mission is to arrange “ladies of shade by means of a transformative liberal arts training to steer with function, integrity, and a robust sense of self-worth.” I encourage you to learn extra about their wealthy “herstoryin honor of Ladies’s Historical past Month.

At Cisco, we’ve taken appreciable steps to combat injustice and inequity all over the world. Some of the highly effective examples of the daring actions we’re taking is our $150 million dedication to protect the legacy and sustainability of HBCUs by means of Social Justice Motion 8.

Whereas that dedication contains driving expertise modernization and bettering STEM training at HBCUs, Cisco is actively investing into the way forward for their college students as nicely — and I’m proud to say that these investments continued earlier this month at Bennett School.

We’re constructing a bridge with Bennett School

Bennett School has been a non-public, four-year traditionally black liberal arts school for girls since 1926. Over the course of our relationship, we’ve labored to determine Bennett School as a Networking Academy, supplied pupil recruiting help, supplied steerage on funding grants, and helped improve their community safety for distant studying by means of a Nationwide Institute of Requirements and Know-how (NIST) Evaluation. As well as, Bennett School has requested mentorship, job shadowing, and visitor lectures by Cisco professionals to arrange Bennett college students for all times after school. These alternatives align with Motion 8 initiatives and can allow Cisco to proceed to help the sustainability and legacy of Bennett School.

Ladies of shade usually face racism and discrimination in educational {and professional} environments. HBCUs like Bennett School provide the benefit of offering a supportive, inclusive, and justice-oriented method to training. Bennett School operationalizes pupil help by means of particular convocations, lectures, and seminars that comprise their Educational Cultural Enrichment Collection (ACES) collection, which is designed to reinforce the cultural and mental growth of the scholar inhabitants. Cisco’s dedication to delivering pupil success, accelerating younger AA/B expertise, and making an enduring affect for generations to return gives a superb basis for a symbiotic partnership with Bennett School and augments pupil help.

Because the Govt Sponsor for Bennett School, I labored with Wesley Carter, CX Sr. Program Supervisor, and Bennett School to create an ACES occasion that delivered an essential message to Bennett’s liberal arts college students:

  You don’t must main within the pc sciences subject to be precious to a expertise firm like Cisco! 

It’s a robust message, and one which we will frequently construct upon to indicate Bennett college students that even entry-level digital and cybersecurity expertise can improve their aggressive edge, it doesn’t matter what they select for his or her profession path. Dr. Santiba Campbell, Director of Educational Particular Initiatives for Bennett School, instructed an all-woman panel and give attention to liberal arts, as an alternative of STEM, as a result of Bennett School is predominately a liberal arts school.

An outline of our Ladies in Cisco Panel Dialogue in March of 2023 

Some of the essential points of this occasion was the evidence-based method. It was kicked off by our personal Shaina Tamburr, VP, CX Applications & Compliance, and featured a panel of various, liberal arts-educated, profitable ladies from totally different areas inside Cisco — starting from undertaking administration to gross sales and advertising. These profitable ladies got here collectively to share their distinctive profession tales and life experiences, in addition to welcome Bennett School’s liberal arts college students to interact with Cisco. We doubled down on Cisco’s dedication to pupil success by inviting our Rising Expertise Variety Engagement Staff to create a portal particularly for college students to add their resume and be thought of for future Cisco alternatives!

The connection between the audio system and college students was palpable — and after sharing their tales, our panelists had an opportunity to reply these insightful questions in entrance of scholars:

  • What has been probably the most important barrier in your profession? 
  • How have mentors helped you develop as a frontrunner? What was your path to get there? 
  • What recommendation would you give your 21-year-old self? 

Because the occasion concluded, the scholars had been supplied with contact data for all of the panelists so they might attain out and ask questions to arrange themselves for a profession within the tech business.

Women participating on a panel and one speaking at a podium
College students from Bennett School taking part within the Ladies in Cisco Panel Dialogue.

This was an unbelievable occasion for Bennett School

The Ladies in Cisco occasion was successful for Bennett School as a result of it supplied college students with precious insights into working within the tech business, in addition to a chance to community with profitable liberal arts majors — together with two alumnae from Bennett School!

However most of all, this was an excellent step in strengthening the connection between Bennett School and Cisco:

“I hope each of you’re doing nicely and nonetheless glowing from an excellent expertise Friday at Bennett School! Thanks for the entire onerous work in planning, organizing and speaking for the Ladies in Cisco ACES panel. I sit up for extra alternatives and sponsorships for us to work collectively.”
Dr. Santiba Campbell, Director of Educational Particular Initiatives, Bennett School

I’m genuinely proud to be a part of an organization that’s dedicated to not solely creating alternative and publicity within the IT subject to non-technical college students, but in addition to the strategic restoration, sustainability, and legacy of HBCUs like Bennett School.

Let’s proceed to work collectively to energy an inclusive future for all by figuring out extra methods to rework our beliefs into motion, particularly as we rejoice Ladies’s Historical past Month.

Register now for our upcoming Ladies Rock-IT occasion to learn the way
wonderful ladies are utilizing expertise to deal with local weather change.

 April twenty seventh, 2023


A group of women gathered at an event
Cisco panelists included Adja Ndiaye, Shaunya Ishmael, Maddie Speakman, India Williams, Ariel Adams, LaSonia Packenham, Jami Steward, Deniqua Crichlow, Sweetie Browne, in addition to Bennett alumnae Toshanique Curtis and Ashley Hemingway.
Audio system included Shaina Tamburr, Claudia Kittredge, and Wesley Carter.