I have worked here for over 15 years. It is still a very male dominated company. They have promoted or hired women at many of the top positions, but below VP it is very male. Men actively promote and encourage other men over women. In my early years at Cisco, I was in a role that was all female. The role was several pay grades below what it would have been had it been a male dominated role.
I've worked here for 14 years and is a predominantly male environment. Senior Management has been trying for years to expand the female population through a number of programs. If you're in Sales, expect to work LOTS of hours and travel. However, the work at home is a bonus and you can set your schedule on your own. Mid-level women don't seem to advance as quickly as men. Depending on your region/area, you might fall into the good old boy network. Fight hard. The maternity leave was basic though I didn't have any issues when I took it twice when I had my two children. Key is to learn how to navigate the political waters.
In IT the management team is split fairly evenly. I don't think women are treated differently professionally. However many of the contractors and developers are male which creates a bit of a men's club feel socially.
Cisco is a technology company where men are in almost all of the higher positions. Woman enter the organization and quickly 'stall out' early in their careers. There are a few areas where woman are allowed to 'proceed upward' - finance and HR. Otherwise, little or no chance to move upward.
Although the company has female executive leaders and encourages women in leadership, Gen X females still seem to be passed over for manager roles regularly. Most jobs within Cisco allow for flexible working hours and working remotely. However, you are also expected to be available at all hours. Cisco has a wonderful philanthropic culture with many opportunities to give back to the community. They also offer many employee run groups which allow you to expand your professional development/personal branding and network.
Generally I believe they are treated fairly but management is male-dominated and not diverse, which makes it tougher for women to "network" with them.
This company relies *very* heavily on contractors, which means they can drop you at any time with no warning and haven't made any commitment to you as a long-term contributor to the company's success. Women I encountered who did have power were not nurturing at all to other women. Cisco operates as though it's still a startup and senior execs expect immediate results from quite complex projects. Initiatives therefore don't receive any real time or focus towards success before they are dropped for being ineffective.
Blatant sexual harassment, bullying and unprofessional behavior. HR's only response was to give a one-hour canned general HR training session to the collective team. The kind of training that is meant to be a legal obligation only. Managers largely looked the other way or took care of their own boys club. The HR director I spoke to explicitly said that cases reported typically turn into "he said, she said" and that there are "rules against recording conversations" that could be deemed as proof. There may be parts of the company where this kind of thing does not happen, but I didn't stick around to find out.
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