Cisco has hosted its annual Girls Power Tech event at its Dubai office, where female students from GEMS, SUNMARKE, DIA and Collegiate American School in the UAE, interacted with Cisco professionals and female role models to hear inspiring stories about their careers.
Cisco’s Girls Power Tech is a global mentoring initiative that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider educational and career paths in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and technology.
As part of the initiative, Cisco employees worldwide spend the day with girls age 13 to 18 and engage with them through office visits, tours, presentations, and mentoring. Students get to meet women role models and men who are advocates for women in technology, learning about their career paths and lives in the technology field.
They also get the chance to use Cisco’s latest TelePresence and collaboration solutions to interact with other girls across the globe and with successful women working at Cisco and elsewhere.
During the event, Shukri Eid, Managing Director – East Region, Cisco Middle East, highlighted how innovation in technology and connectivity is allowing amazing things to happen in new, unexpected ways.
The full-day event also included a panel discussion with women leaders from Cisco and an innovation competition for the students, where they were challenged to build a robot that would solve the world’s biggest challenge.
The female students where then judged on robustness of their scientific thought, as well as their creativity and presentation and the overall and ecological impact of their ideas.
“Diversity, inclusion and collaboration are part of Cisco’s core values,” said Shukri Eid. “From sparking new ideas to inspiring innovation, they act as a bridge that connects varied perspectives and unleashes the full potential of our people to create exponential value for Cisco, our employees, partners, customers and the broader community.
“The Girls Power Tech event is a great example of our commitment to inspire and encourage girls to pursue a career in STEM. Through our events such as Women of Impact and Girls Power Tech, women and girls in the region can get connected, be empowered and find inspiration to advance their careers in technology.”
Women comprise a mere 27% of workers in the computer science, engineering and physics fields in some of the world’s emerging economies. With only 24% of CIO positions at Fortune 100 companies held by women, they represent a large, untapped resource of technology talent.