Gender equality in the workplace: The need to walk the talk

John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, the multinational networking organisation, has admitted that while he has always considered himself sensitive to gender issues in the workplace, he hasn’t ‘walked the talk’ with regards to taking leadership in ensuring gender equality, development and promotion in the organisation. To improve this going forward, he has asked his top managers to develop and implement women-focused initiatives.

Only one quarter of the organisation’s employees and top executives are women, which has led Chambers to confess that Cisco’s existing gender equality and development policies and practices haven’t worked. He suggests that, subconsciously, without realising it, we go about our day to day work with gender stereotypes and biases, which we don’t even realise are placing barriers to women advancing in the organisation. He is advocating a culture change to actively support women in the workplace, which he feels will benefit Cisco and all its stakeholders.

This brave admission and proactive vision from the long-standing CEO of a multinational giant such as Cisco is to be commended. For sure Cisco is not alone when it comes to ongoing internal challenges concering gender diversity. However, with strong leadership from the top such as John Chambers is portraying, the proposed culture shift where gender diversity is consciously and visibly recognised and promoted, can only be regarded as a very positive step in the right direction. Let’s see how this materialises over the coming months and years…

For more see