Deputy General Counsel Employment Law
Cisco Systems, Inc.
San Francisco, Calif.
A self-described “company culture enabler and shaper,” Saidah Grayson Dill is vice president and deputy general counsel at Cisco Systems, Inc., with responsibility for Global Employment Law and a team of Employee Relations professionals. She advises on a myriad of related issues, including acquisition integration, litigation, compliance, investigations, and diversity and inclusion.
Dill has always had a love of the law. She has a bachelor’s degree in public policy with a concentration in law and the legal system from Stanford University and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She worked for two international law firms before joining Cisco, a multinational technology conglomerate.
“The law has the ability, theoretically, to determine what’s right and just and that has always really appealed to me,” she says. “The law has the ability to tangibly touch lives.” Dill says she sees this ability in action every day at Cisco. Even before corporations in 2020 began to openly recognize systemic racism amid global condemnation of police killings of African-Americans, Cisco had already instituted a diversity plan. “The company is good in what we do in terms of our social justice and actions,” she states, and notes that it is continuously seeking to answer the question, “How do you raise a lot of the needs of the most vulnerable within our population?”
Dill helped to put Cisco’s diversity goals in place. Hers is a rewarding yet demanding job, but she finds time to mentor others and “keep all the balls in the air” as a wife and mother of a six-year-old and four-year-old twins. Her professional success, she says, is built on faith and perseverance learned from her grandmother, the support and guidance of a “sister circle” that keeps her “grounded, inspired and laughing,” and “having a loving, supportive, always willing to pitch-in, carry-the-load husband.”