To coincide with International Women’s Day, Cisco organised the ‘Women of Impact 2017 Conference’ – an annual full-day conference devoted to the development and advancement of women in the technology industry on March 8th, 2017 in Dubai. Themed ‘It’s Time. Collaborate. Lead. Inspire,’ the event was held at multiple Cisco sites globally and virtually. Close to 12,000 attendees including Cisco employees, partners, and customers collectively participated in over 90 event sites across 30 countries globally.
The UAE edition of the Women of Impact conference was held at Cisco’s Dubai offices and witnessed several eminent women business leaders, technology leaders and entrepreneurs from the region share their experiences with attendees through multiple keynotes, panel discussions and a global telepresence link up with the aim to connect, inspire and empower women in technology.
Speaking at the event, Shukri Eid, Managing Director – East Region, Cisco Middle East, said, 'Cisco is proud to once again have showcased its global initiative in promoting the growth of women leadership and talent amongst its community of employees, partners, customers and other connected human resource ecosystems. The Women of Impact Conference globally and regionally is meant to be a day to focus on encouraging professional women to network, find mentors and role models, hear successful women executives talk, and connect globally through our day-long telepresence connection. We are also proud to have successfully organised the local version of the event in Dubai with distinguished key note speakers and round table thought leadership dialogue.”
Similar to previous Cisco Women of Impact annual events, the 2017 edition was directed by Cisco's Office of Inclusion and Collaboration in partnership with Connected Women ERO and was dedicated to the professional development of career women. By organizing this event annually, Cisco is enabling women to grow their network of professional allies and mentors across functions and regions, where they could gain useful knowledge about career development and personal growth. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from role models on how to collaborate, lead and inspire in 2017. The Women of Impact conference was targeted at Cisco customers, partners, internal - women in Technology, male supporters, allies, girls in STEM and anyone who was interested in the topic of hiring, developing, and advancing women’s careers.
'Digital transformation in organizations is changing the formal employee structure and levelling the disparity between women and men in the workplace. Cisco is keen to take the lead in encouraging women in the STEM field to strive for leadership roles while enhancing their skills in digital technologies. With the growing challenges, it is important for future women executives to be well mentored, networked, educated, and have the latest tools to manage business. The Women of Impact Conference is a step in this direction,' added Frida Kleimert, Regional Partner Leader - Gulf East Region, Cisco Middle East, and member of Cisco’s Connected Women network.
The Dubai edition of Women of Impact 2017 featured presentations by renowned women speakers including thought leaders and entrepreneurs from the fields of education, business and IT. Frida Kleimert, Cisco’s Regional Partner Leader, Gulf East Region opened the conference by welcoming guests and elaborated and reinforced the theme ‘It’s TIME —(to) Collaborate. Lead. Inspire’. Dr Samineh Shaheem, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Leadership at Hult International Business School spoke on the topic ‘It’s TIME to Collaborate’ on ‘Cross Cultural Psychology’ and Ms. Isra Shaheen shared her insights on the subject ‘It’s TIME to Inspire’ on business etiquettes.
The event also featured an engaging panel discussion on the topic ‘It’s TIME to go full speed ahead’, which included speakers such as Shukri Eid, Managing Director of East Region, Cisco Middle East, Isra Shaheen, Business Etiquette Trainer, Dr Samineh Shaheem, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Leadership at Hult International Business School and Maryam Al Sayegh, Deputy Vice Chairman at Roda Hotels and Resorts. Concluding the event, Shadi Salama, Channel Leader, Cisco Middle East, spoke on the importance of diversity in the workplace and how Cisco has always been at the forefront of efforts to hire, nurture, promote and support women, especially in technical fields and leadership roles.
The Dubai edition of Women of Impact conference witnessed a good turnout, where attendees also had the opportunity to join the global conference through telepresence, where global speakers shared their inspirational stories with them.