Cisco, global leader in IT and networking, joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day through its annual ‘Women of Impact Conference’ (WOI). The Conference which is designed to celebrate women leaders in the technology industry had the theme “Together, for change.
Collaborate. Lead. Inspire.” It welcomed Cisco employees, customers and partners, men and women, all interested in the topic of hiring, developing, and advancing women in the technology industry.
The ‘Women of Impact’ Conference has been a staple at Cisco for several years occurring simultaneously across all Cisco offices around the world. It is an event devoted to the professional development of women, especially women in IT. The conference is an open, free and global event structured with the aim to unite women all over the world, giving them a place to network, motivate and co-develop one another. Cisco prides itself in its commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Collaboration.
The Nigerian edition of the conference took place at Cisco’s office in Victoria Island, Lagos. Present at the conference were several Cisco employees, business leaders and entrepreneurs from all spheres of the industry, sharing experiences, knowledge and inspiration. Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe, Founder & CEO, Secure ID, during a panel discussion emphasized the need for women in technology to be thinkers. She stated ‘A woman in technology must always be ahead of competition, she must foresee trends and work at adapting to them, she must be determined to break barriers and change status quo. Women need to learn to be consistent, to persevere and to scale up their businesses’.
Another panelist, Mrs Uneku Atawodi-Edun, General Manager, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, remarked: “society needs to be more involved in highlighting the relevance of women. Women have such innate strength and character that motivates them to achieve. As a Polo player, I realized that I didn’t need to be stronger than my male counterparts, but I had to be smarter. The same goes for women in technology, they need to be bolder, smarter and more inquisitive.’
Mr. Olakunle Oloruntimehin, General Manager, Cisco Nigeria says “The IT industry offers huge potential for women, but they must be ready to take risks and overcome obstacles to be successful. Cisco has always been at the forefront of efforts to hire, nurture, promote and support women, especially in technical fields and leadership roles. In fact, Cisco has five very powerful women forming part of the Executive Leadership team. Their contribution has been part of Cisco’s success story.”
This year, over 15,000 Cisco employees, partners, and customers from over 30 countries attended the Women of Impact Conference via telepresence, emphasizing Cisco’s commitment to positively advance the role and inclusion of women both in the technology industry and in the corporate world at large.