Dubai, UAE – Cisco hosted its 7th annual Women of Impact day, bringing together Cisco employees, customers, partners and IT companies on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The forum is a platform to exchange ideas and foster collaboration to encourage gender diversity and attract talent in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
The theme for this year’s Women of Impact event is “Imagine Your Possible” – a statement encouraging women to be fearless, break boundaries and reach new heights in the workforce.
One of the guest panelists, Louise Karim, Managing Director at Mums@Work said: “Over the course of my career, I have experienced the challenges that come with juggling motherhood and work. The years have shown me how crucial it is for companies to prioritize digitization and exercise flexibility. This approach helps create a trusted, balanced, inspired and productive culture for both men and women.”
Dana Dajani, award-winning Palestinian writer, performer and activist was also present among the guests. Honored as Emirates Woman "Artist of the Year" and receiver of the Young Arab Award for Entertainment in 2016, Dana fueled other women to chase their dreams by reciting her poetry and sharing milestones from her own story.
Commenting at the event, Dana said: “We are here today to celebrate the outstanding women in the region who are leading, collaborating and inspiring more than ever before, but to also address the gender imbalance that still strongly exists across many industries. We want to inspire the next generation of women to believe in the power of their dreams, seek mentorship and break boundaries. We want women to realize the impact their presence can have on driving the future of work and to take action towards that direction.”
Women sum up to only 27% of workers in the computer science, engineering, and physics fields in some of the world’s emerging economies, representing an untapped pool of potential and talent. Cisco has launched programs and resources specifically tailored to equip men and women with the necessary skills that would help them work their way up the corporate ladder and hold executive leadership positions.
One such initiative geared towards achieving this is the Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad), a global education program launched in 1997 designed to build technical skills, while developing the communication, collaboration, and problem-solving abilities needed in today’s economy and to meet the growing demand for ICT talent around the world. Since the program’s inception, the number of female students across the Middle East has been high, with women accounting for 48% of students in the UAE, 36% in Jordan, and 59% in Oman.
Shukri Eid, Managing Director – East Region, Cisco Middle East, commented: “At Cisco, female inclusion and empowerment is a key factor that creates success and establishes the culture of equality within the company. By playing a proactive role in onboarding women and increasing their representation in the workforce, we are proud to move in line with the UAE national vision’s objective of enhancing gender equality and driving women’s participation. Cisco will continue its efforts to hire, nurture, promote and support women, especially in technical fields and leadership roles.”
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© Press Release 2019