Supplier Engagement and Diversity

Bringing our values into action

Cisco's success is built on a culture of inclusion and integrity. We hold ourselves and our suppliers to the highest standards for responsible procurement business practices.

Supplier diversity

Supplier diversity can be powerful. It opens new channels to access skills, provides resiliency, promotes inclusiveness, broadens partnership opportunities, and offers abundant viewpoints that are needed to solve today's complex challenges.

Diverse businesses are defined as being at least 51 percent-owned by a member of one of eight historically disadvantaged groups. These groups are identified by the U.S. government (see below) and headquartered in the United States. They are:   

  • Small businesses
  • Woman-owned businesses
  • Minority-owned businesses
  • Veteran-owned businesses
  • Service-disabled veteran-owned businesses
  • Businesses in Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) zones

In addition to the above groups, the inclusion of LGBT business enterprises is part of Cisco's supplier diversity efforts.

Supplier diversity organizations

Cisco recognizes the following diversity councils and agencies in support of the certification, growth, and development of diverse suppliers:

Cisco works with several suppliers, many of whom are diverse businesses. Diversity among these suppliers is an important priority, but please keep in mind that registering does not necessarily:

  • Automatically qualify your company to be a part of any request for proposal or quote
  • Guarantee award of a contract
  • Classify your company as an approved or preferred supplier

Tier 2 participation and reporting

The Cisco Supplier Diversity Program was created to help ensure a good faith effort is made to optimize contract opportunities for diverse suppliers that provide products and/or services to Cisco and our key suppliers.

  • Tier 1 supplier diversity spend represents the direct relationship between Cisco and our diverse suppliers. 
  • Tier 2 gives Cisco insight into the diversity efforts of our key suppliers. We encourage Cisco suppliers to support our supplier diversity initiative by reporting their spend on products and services provided by underrepresented socioeconomic groups.

Promoting diversity

Diversity programs and training opportunities for suppliers

Our responsibility and commitment to diversity isn't limited just to Cisco. We are committed to supporting and enabling our supplier ecosystem as an extension of our company.

Inclusive culture training for suppliers

Cisco delivers inclusive company culture training focused on anti-discrimination, conscious culture, unconscious bias, allyship, and more, for our workforce. We are also making content available to all partners and suppliers.

Building skills for conscious culture (BSCC) training

BSCC training aims to provide a common language and skill set to nurture workplace conscious culture that is designed to mitigate bias, identify harassment, and recognize social inequity at work. Training details include the following:

  • Interactive e-learning format hosting by our Emtrain learning partner
  • Sessions that take 40-–50 minutes, depending on the user
  • No cost to suppliers
  • Six different languages offered: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean (additional languages available through machine translation)
  • FAQs for technical support

Take BSCC training by accessing our supplier-exclusive learning portal.

Registration note: When accessing the training, the learner will be required to complete a brief registration form. For the "Employer of Record" field, the learner should input the name of the Cisco supplier organization, not "Cisco."

The Multiplier Effect: Accelerating careers for diverse talent

In 2017, Cisco introduced The Multiplier Effect (TME). The TME pledge empowers leaders to sponsor a person different from themselves, support their career advancement, and challenge their peers to do the same. Sponsors leverage their influence, position, and social capital to advocate career advancement for diverse talent. Sponsorship is not automatic—it is organic, dynamic, and rooted in respect and trust.

Sponsorship is a critical success factor in the advancement of diverse talent. Why sponsorship matters:

  • People with sponsors are 23% more likely to advance in their careers.
  • Leaders who sponsor are 53% more likely to advance in their career.
  • Taking the TME pledge is one of the ways leaders can showcase their personal commitment in championing and advocating for diverse talent.
  • Research shows that employees of color and women are less likely to be sponsored in organizations.

Use the power of sponsorship to amplify the voice and careers of underrepresented groups.

Pledge today

From our CEO

Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer

"Cisco's commitment to diversity is a core part of our culture. As technology transforms every company, city, and country, and more people, places, and things become connected, it is more important than ever to consider and incorporate the many viewpoints and cultures from the places in which we do business.

Cisco's Supplier and Partner Diversity Program provides us with insight to better enable our business model and seize future opportunities by creating channels of social and economic opportunity with customers, partners, and suppliers. Our program represents an integrated and collaborative network that includes our direct and indirect supply chain, resellers, suppliers, and partners, all of whom offer a broad range of skills that the marketplace demands to stay competitive.

Our Supplier and Partner Diversity program has proven to be a clear competitive advantage for Cisco, helping us drive innovation and collaboration. We are proud that this program enables us to incorporate the many diverse ideas and viewpoints that are critical to our success."

Engage with Cisco

Are you a supplier with questions about the Building Skills for Conscious Culture (BSCC) Training?

Contact us

Are you a supplier with questions on The Multiplier Effect (TME)?

Contact The Multiplier Effect

Are you a diverse-owned company interested in doing business with Cisco?

Register your diverse business at the Cisco Supplier Portal. When submitting your completed company profile, please provide specific details about your capabilities and differentiators under the company description section.