The Cisco team has a range of employee resource organisations made up of passionate individuals who champion and support the full range of diversity and inclusion at Cisco.

In fact, it’s what makes Cisco such a great place to work – underpinned by a culture in which you are encouraged to bring your whole self to work.

The Pride community is made up of LGBT+ employees and allies, to support employees to bring their whole self to work.  The pride team came together about a year or so ago, catapulted by a ground swell of people who were passionate and committed to want to do more. The marriage equality decision in Australia helped employees to recognise they could do more to support this community.

We spoke to the Pride team to share all the great work they’ve been doing, with the core group run by Danny, Scott, Jemma and Naima.

One year of the Pride team in Australia & New Zealand

It’s been just over a year since the group was established with a simple goal: to allow for each to find comfort and be able to bring their whole self to work.

As we connected and aligned ourselves with Cisco’s Global Pride group and community, we learned more about the main pillars of the group, which includes “Allyship, Giving Back, Professional Development and Community”.  This framework provides the baseline of the activities we run.

A big part of the team’s support is working with allies to help share the importance and diversity and inclusion within the broader employee community.  Working with Cisco’s Director of Government Affairs, Tim Fawcett, we aligned to Cisco’s Inclusion Collaboration framework. As well, he connected us to the Diversity Council of Australia’s Development Manager, Andrew Maxwell, as a guest speaker. He shared with us why organisations are more competitive, innovative and empowered when employees can bring their full selves to work.

Over 100 Cisco employees joined us to hear more, and it definitely generated a lot of discussion points and opened doors for Cisco Pride to connect with other employee resource organisations and business functions to build this out further.

Creating conversations, and marking milestones for our community

The enthusiasm, pride and passion from the local Cisco team was buzzing as we celebrated in Australia in the lead up to Mardi Gras (all before physical distancing).  Our branch offices took part in decorating our workplaces, and we held two celebration events at our Melbourne Cisco office and Sydney Meraki office.

It was the first time Cisco Australia officially celebrated Pride together, and what a celebration it was!  Allies and supporters were welcomed by our Global Pride leads Mark Murphy, Global Field Marketing Team & Maulie Dass, Director of Engineering delivered through Cisco webex, and we connected with our HR leaders to highlight the importance of pride awareness in our workplace. It was wonderful to have this support and participation from our leaders! It means the world to the group and its members.

Many stories were shared on the night, including several celebratory moments, from self-identifying individuals sharing their experience at work or peers sharing why they feel passionate enough to become an ally.  Storytelling is such a powerful way to help shape inclusion in our hearts and minds as we continue to support peers who share their stories. It builds a sense of community, and inclusivity that can really make a difference.

Wear it purple day 

On Friday 28th August the world will be celebrating the 10th year anniversary of ‘Wear It Purple Day’, which creating safe spaces in schools, universities, workplaces and public spaces to show LGBTIQ+ young people that they are seen and supported. These days are key as they create opportunities to show allyship and support our peers.

As we continue to work on building our plans around the four Cisco PRIDE pillars, we are also looking for strategic partnership in our community and different ways our employees can give back to the community as our next step.

Danny, Jemma, Scott & Naima

Cisco Pride