As a contributing program to the Least-Developed Countries Initiative, the Cisco Gender Initiative educates young women about careers in information technology as a means of eradicating poverty and supporting economic development.
The program offers flexible class times, with courses available globally, as well as online, to help women overcome barriers found in many continuing education programs. Cisco partners with the Institute of International Education to provide scholarships to women in Asia and North Africa to attend the Cisco Networking Academy program.
By partnering with the United Nations Development Fund for Women in Morocco, Cisco currently has:
All-Female Networking Academy in Mexico
Instituto Alpes Querétaro in Querétaro, Mexico, is the first all-female Networking Academy in Mexico. This secondary school had 101 CCNA graduates as of May 2006. Mexico's First Lady at the time, Marta Sahagún de Fox, hosted the female students at Los Piños, the Presidential residence. The First Lady encouraged the young CCNA graduates to pursue their dreams in the IT field and stressed the importance of IT training and experience.
Cisco also has all-female academies in many other countries, including India, Japan, Nigeria, and United Arab Emirates.