Monday, May 29, 2023

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 among solely two all-women, Traditionally Black School and Universities (HBCUs) in the US — and their mission is to organize “girls of colour by way of a transformative liberal arts training to steer with goal, 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 battle injustice and inequity world wide. Probably the most highly effective examples of the daring actions we’re taking is our $150 million dedication to protect the legacy and sustainability of HBCUs by way of Social Justice Motion 8.

Whereas that dedication consists of driving expertise modernization and bettering STEM training at HBCUs, Cisco is actively investing into the way forward for their college students as properly — 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 personal, four-year traditionally black liberal arts faculty for girls since 1926. Over the course of our relationship, we now have labored to determine Bennett School as a Networking Academy, supplied scholar recruiting assist, supplied steerage on funding grants, and helped improve their community safety for distant studying by way of a Nationwide Institute of Requirements and Expertise (NIST) Evaluation. As well as, Bennett School has requested mentorship, job shadowing, and visitor lectures by Cisco professionals to organize Bennett college students for all times after faculty. These alternatives align with Motion 8 initiatives and can allow Cisco to proceed to assist the sustainability and legacy of Bennett School.

Ladies of colour typically face racism and discrimination in tutorial {and professional} environments. HBCUs like Bennett School provide the benefit of offering a supportive, inclusive, and justice-oriented strategy to training. Bennett School operationalizes scholar assist by way of particular convocations, lectures, and seminars that comprise their Tutorial Cultural Enrichment Sequence (ACES) sequence, which is designed to reinforce the cultural and mental improvement of the coed inhabitants. Cisco’s dedication to delivering scholar success, accelerating younger AA/B expertise, and making an enduring influence for generations to return offers a wonderful basis for a symbiotic partnership with Bennett School and augments scholar assist.

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

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

It’s a robust message, and one which we are able to regularly 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 Tutorial Particular Initiatives for Bennett School, instructed an all-woman panel and deal with liberal arts, as an alternative of STEM, as a result of Bennett School is predominately a liberal arts faculty.

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

Probably the most vital facets of this occasion was the evidence-based strategy. It was kicked off by our personal Shaina Tamburr, VP, CX Applications & Compliance, and featured a panel of various, liberal arts-educated, profitable girls from totally different areas inside Cisco — starting from mission administration to gross sales and advertising. These profitable girls got here collectively to share their distinctive profession tales and life experiences, in addition to welcome Bennett School’s liberal arts college students to have interaction with Cisco. We doubled down on Cisco’s dedication to scholar success by inviting our Rising Expertise Variety Engagement Crew 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 essentially 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 have been supplied with contact info for all of the panelists so they may attain out and ask questions to organize 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 a hit for Bennett School as a result of it supplied college students with useful 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 ideal step in strengthening the connection between Bennett School and Cisco:

“I hope each of you might be doing properly and nonetheless glowing from an ideal expertise Friday at Bennett School! Thanks for the entire laborious work in planning, organizing and speaking for the Ladies in Cisco ACES panel. I stay up for extra alternatives and sponsorships for us to work collectively.”
Dr. Santiba Campbell, Director of Tutorial 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 remodel 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
superb girls are utilizing expertise to handle 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.



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