Recap: Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) Forum

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A network that grows stronger each year is in our midst and expanding as we speak. This network of professionals seeks to create inclusion and diversity in technology and business by specifically enrolling and mentoring girls and women. Born out of the realization that only three to five percent of Cisco Live attendees are women, this network is known as CEWN.

The third annual Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) Forum held on June 7, 2015 during Cisco Live, was attended by ISI Telemanagement Solutions, Inc., Director of Product Development, Kathy Learnan. Cisco Live is the premier IT and communications conference running June 7th -11th at the San Diego Convention Center. The CEWN network is about coming together to create space in IT for women and to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in STEM fields to impact future generations. Learnan expressed that the day was extremely fulfilling and she was glad to attend.

This year’s CEWN theme, “ReDefine Tomorrow, Today”, focused on ways to redefine the culture of leadership, innovation, inclusion, community, and career. The forum was a daylong series of panel discussions and “TED talk” style keynotes that included Cisco’s top corporate talent and motivational speakers from Cisco’s partner and customer communities.

The schedule kicked off with a welcome address from Patrice D’Eramo, VP of Marketing for Cisco and followed with a keynote from Alison Gleason, SVP of Cisco. Gleason spoke about recognizing your non-negotiables and guiding principles, and also shared life lessons and leadership insights on staying true to your self within the craziness of life and career.

Discussions on leadership and more professional development continued through the day. Attendees received valuable mentoring on topics surrounding what modern leadership looks like, staying relevant and impactful, and finding inspiration in your work. The day’s participants included:

  • Kirin Sinha - Founder and Executive Director, Shine for Girls
  • Shari Slate - Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer, Cisco
  • Wendy Bahr - SVP.WW PARTNER ORGANIZATION, Cisco
  • Ashley Hand - Chief Innovation Officer, City of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Mel Robbins - A Motivational Experience, Social Pass
  • Kelly Kramer - SVP/GM.EXECUTIVE, Cisco
  • Shraddha Chaplot - Machinegineer, Cisco
  • Nicole Walter - VP of Community Relations, Ed Tech
  • Rowan Trollope - SVP/GM.COLLABORATION TECHNOLOGY GROUP, Cisco
  • Rebecca Jacoby - SVP.CIO, Cisco

Cisco’s commitment to championing women in their own organization makes Cisco Live the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how they are redefining the technology space with CEWN. This trailblazing effort on behalf of Cisco represents that intersection where women leaders are ultimately recognized as being integral to the process of mentoring other women.

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Darlene Jackson is a published writer with many years of experience in digital publishing, advertising, and public relations. Her diverse assignments include stints with Chicago Public Media, The Chicago Tribune, and various print and online media and communication outlets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Northwestern University.





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