Ever since I joined the tech industry 10+ years ago, I have had a passion for improving gender diversity in the workplace. I started my career in IT and often found myself to be the only woman in the room.
While I do believe we have made significant progress over the past decade, there is still more work to be done to encourage our next generation to pursue STEM careers and to accelerate diversity in tech.
I have spent years in local Bay Area classrooms encouraging young girls to explore their passion for STEM related fields. I have seen first hand how a little encouragement goes a long way. Girls need exposure to how fun and exciting careers in tech can be. And they also need exposure to strong female role models so that they can envision themselves following their footsteps one day.
I am so proud to work for a company that is a huge advocate for women in tech. One of my favorite parts of working for Cisco is my Women of Cisco community in San Jose. As part of our Community Outreach pillar, we search for new ways to make an impact in our own backyard by inspiring young girls to explore tech and to learn important skills such as coding and cybersecurity.
Since there is a massive shortage of cybersecurity talent we make a concerted effort to educate our youth about an expanding and dynamic field, that I personally find fun, challenging and rewarding.
On November 9th, Cisco Umbrella teamed up with Women of Cisco and Men for Inclusion to host interactive cybersecurity workshops at the World Wide Women Girls’ Festival in San Francisco. It was an inspiring day full of learning, possibilities, and fun. We taught the girls practical tips on how to stay safe online: think before you click and the importance of using strong passwords and updating your software regularly.
I had the treat of speaking with ABC7’s Kristen Sze and Kumasi Aaron about Cisco’s workshops and why it means so much to Cisco to take part in this special event.
Watch the video:
Here are a couple photos from the Girls’ Festival:
I also got to moderate the STEM career mentoring panel alongside women from Xilinx, Gilead, Helix and NetApp! I am on the far left.