How My Company Is Supporting OneTen’s Mission to Advance 1 Million Black Individuals in 10 Years

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Keyana Tyson

Photo courtesy of Cisco.

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June 21, 2024 at 3:33AM UTC

“OneTen is a global initiative with the goal of hiring, promoting and advancing one million Black individuals who do not have a four-year degree into family-sustaining careers over the next 10 years,” explains Keyana Tyson the Diversity Programs leader at Cisco

This initiative is incredibly important, with OneTen sharing that while 79% of family-sustaining jobs require a four-year college degree, 76% of Black adults in America are without a four-year college degree. And, the average difference in family net wealth between white and Black families is $143k. 

To address these disparities, companies across the world are helping OneTen achieve their mission. One of these companies is Cisco, a networking hardware company and worldwide leader in IT.

“Cisco is a proud leader in this program and is taking a skills-first approach to hiring by focusing on individual competencies in an aim to close the opportunity gap,” says Tyson. “Cisco is cultivating their talent pipeline and access to a wider candidate pool from an untapped source of outstanding, entrepreneurial talent.”

Cisco’s CEO Chuck Robbins sits on the board of OneTen and recently spoke about his company’s participation in OneTen:

“I’m proud that @Cisco is joining over 30 partner organizations in supporting @OneTen. Together, we aim to upskill, hire, and advance 1M Black Americans over 10 years and drive progress toward a more #InclusiveFuture.” — Robbins on Twitter.

To learn more about the OneTen program and how Cisco is supporting this initiative, we reached out to Tyson. Here’s what she had to say…

The success and future outlook of OneTen at Cisco.

The OneTen initiative has found great success at Cisco. “We have over 130 roles identified for focus on the program this fiscal year, and we have hired 29 so far,” notes Tyson. And not only does the initiative result in more hires, Tyson is also proud of how they are able to support these new hires, too. “Our focus on the development plan for hires requires consistent attention to upskilling and reskilling opportunities for our applicants over the first year,” she says. “This training, along with mentorship and sponsorship, is part of the support program to ensure these new hires have a positive experience at Cisco.”

Due to its success, it’s no wonder that the future of the OneTen initiative at Cisco is looking bright! “This program has plenty of room to grow and expand with our appreciation of the exceptional talents, skills and intellect that our OneTen hires bring to Cisco,” notes Tyson.

Already, Cisco has over 150 interviews scheduled in January 2022 to place in 50 roles. Like Tyson says, the initiative will only continue to grow “as hiring managers realize the true value of these exceptional employees.”

How the OneTen initiative is benefiting other companies.

Already, across all of the companies participating in OneTen, there have been “over 17,000 OneTen-qualifying hires and 4,000 promotions across 30+ industries in 360 locations in the U.S,” says Tyson. This initiative is working! And other companies would benefit from joining on. 

Tyson explains that companies should join, “if they are like us and eager to expand their inclusion and diversity programs and recognize the special skills that OneTen hires can offer.”

Further, as one of Tyson’s colleagues says, programs like this are incredibly important for attaining (and retaining) talent you may have missed otherwise.

“Getting a college degree shouldn't be the only road to success. There are multiple pathways to acquire the relevant skills for a job and huge benefits — for both jobseekers and companies — to embracing them. Here’s to an amazing career, a great team, and an awesome company!” – Tamara J., Software Engineer

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