Shari Slate

Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer, Cisco

Shari Slate is Vice President, Inclusive Future and Strategy and Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer at Cisco. Her organization, which includes Inclusion and Collaboration, Community Impact, and Strategy and Market Insights, is responsible for designing Cisco’s next horizon people strategy to deliver on the company’s commitment to power an inclusive future for all. Slate has been widely recognized for her visionary leadership and transformational views on the business value created at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and technology. Guided by her thought leadership in this area, Cisco is embracing new models of Inclusion and Collaboration to fuel innovation, accelerate market leadership, and reimagine workplace practices in the digital era. Under Slate’s direction, Cisco has achieved its highest diversity levels for five years running, and the company was ranked #2 on Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity list for 2019. With her guidance, Cisco has reached the highest level of employee participation in terms of community impact in the history of the company. As individuals across the organization make community impact an everyday habit, the company has reached a ground-breaking 80% employee participation in 2020. At Cisco, our purpose is to build an inclusive future for all, and Slate believes connection has to be at the center. Connection enabled by technology creates an unprecedented opportunity for people to fully participate and collaborate, anywhere, anytime, on any device, and in any dimension, allowing the full spectrum of their diversity to be amplified and accelerated in every outcome. This is what Slate calls value creation at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and technology. Slate believes that we are architecting the future of fairness, the unprecedented opportunity for people to participate and deliver on the promise of diversity. At the heart of the future of fairness is our increased ability to deliver data and insights at the exact point of real time decision making. Her teams’ mission is to leverage inclusion, diversity, collaboration, and technology to remove the barriers standing in the way of people fully participating in work, life, and society. By directly addressing systemic racism, oppression, xenophobia, and other pre-existing inequalities, they look to increase participation, enhance value, and further social cohesion in the fourth industrial revolution—the age of digital transformation. Biography Shari Slate is Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer and Vice President, Inclusive Future and Strategy at Cisco. Her organization, which includes Inclusion and Collaboration, Community Impact, People Strategy and Market Insights, is responsible for designing Cisco’s next horizon people strategy to deliver on the company’s commitment to power an inclusive future for all. Slate has been widely recognized for her visionary leadership and transformational views on the business value created at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, collaboration and technology. Under her leadership, Cisco has achieved its highest diversity levels for five years running, and the company was ranked #2 on Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity list for 2019. Slate joined Cisco in 2010. Prior to her current role, she served as Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist for Cisco’s sales organization. She was responsible for increasing inclusion in the revenue-generating arm of the business and incubating new strategies for advancing full spectrum diversity. Prior to joining Cisco, Slate served as Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Global Community Affairs at Sun Microsystems. Slate is a respected and highly regarded business leader. Recent honors include the Catalyst Award from the Information Technology Senior Management Forum, The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business Award for 2019, Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America list for 2019, and Black Enterprise’s Top Executives in Corporate Diversity list for 2018. Prior to these honors, Slate was named a 2017 Diversity Leader by Profiles in Diversity Journal, and one of the Top Influential Women in Corporate America for 2016 by Savoy Magazine. In 2014, the YWCA named her a “Tribute to Women in Industry” honoree. In 2013, she was named one of Diversity Woman Magazine’s “Stars Who Mean Business”. She has also been recognized as one of the “Most Influential Women in California” by the California Diversity Council and a “Woman Worth Watching” by Diversity Journal Magazine, as well as the recipient of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women 2010 Corporate Leader Award and The Network Journal's "40 Under Forty" Achievement Award. Slate has been widely recognized for her visionary leadership and transformational views on the business value created at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, collaboration and technology. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Systemic Inequalities and Social Cohesion, Business Roundtable: Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and World 50 : Inclusion & Diversity Impact, and California State University Foundation Board of Directors. Slate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political, legal and economic analysis from Mills College.

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