Case study: Cisco uses the power of IT to attract female workers

With the IT industry still seen as very much a male preserve, network infrastructure company Cisco is striving to attract more women.

HR director Charlie Johnston says: “Our people could work in many other organisations. It is important to be aware of this and focus on creating a culture where there is zero tolerance of any kind of prejudiced behaviour.” The firm, which has 3,100 staff in the UK, is committed to equal salaries for equal work.

“We pay people in the same way for the same performance in the markets in which they operate, irrespective of age, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation,” says Johnston.

The company offers a raft of flexible working options to entice female workers. “Working flexibly is a major benefit for Cisco employees,” she says.

Not surprisingly, home working is underpinned by technology, such as Telepresence, which allows employees around the globe to conduct “face-to-face” meetings via life-sized television screens.

Another example is WebEx, which allows employees to chat to each other and edit the same documents simultaneously.

“We have created an environment in which our employees are empowered by trust and enabled by technology to work where and when they choose,” says Johnston.