What Do Diversity and Inclusion Mean at Cisco Systems?
by Tom Gilson
Can someone help me understand what diversity means at Cisco Systems?
1. Frank Turek, a management and team-building trainer, was dismissed by Cisco for reasons completely unrelated to his job performance.
2. The reason for his dismissal was his religious and political views, none of which was ever brought up on the job.
3. Cisco loudly trumpets its value of inclusion and diversity.
4. The company has reportedly failed to respond to private and open letters asking how this firing reflects a mindset of diversity and inclusion.
5. Cisco’s Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity reportedly “refused to do anything to address the cultural factors that contributed to the firing, she refused to even consider the possibility that the Cisco culture was decidedly tilted toward intolerant political correctness—the soil from which the firing sprouted.”
6. This same executive, Mary Nagel, is reported to have said, “Our culture is very welcoming of all points of view. We don’t have any particular political perspective on the issues of same-sex marriage or any of the other issues.” Yet Frank Turek was fired because of his views on this issue. She is also reported to have said,
Because we believe that it has to be an employee environment where everyone is welcome, we do discourage discussions around strongly held political beliefs or religious beliefs in group settings within Cisco other than certain forums, and so we’re very sensitive about protecting our culture of acceptance of everyone, we don’t want anyone to ever feel excluded and that means all opinions, and I really believe that’s what inclusion is all about….
There is a reason that we don’t have political discussions on our campus, and that is because we find that they can be divisive and so we choose to allow people to have those conversations informally or off campus.
7. Frank Turek had never initiated any of these “discouraged” discussions.
8. Turek not only felt excluded on the basis of his opinions, he was literally shown the door…
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