Shari Slate

tNJ 25 women
Shari Slate

Vice President, Chief Inclusion
and Collaboration Officer
San Jose, Calif.

There is no such thing as a typical day for Shari Slate, vice president and chief inclusion and collaboration officer at Cisco. She explains, “My days can range from responding to events unfolding in the communities we serve, such as social justice and human rights events and natural disasters, to working with our executive leadership team to ensure

Cisco fosters a diverse workforce and inclusive environment, to mobilizing our employees to volunteer and give back to our communities, to thinking forward with our customers and my peers on the implications of emerging technologies and how they will affect fairness and equity in the workplace.”

Slate attributes her success to her family. “I am extremely fortunate that my family paved a path for me to leverage my dimensions of diversity as strengths. I am the first generation on my father’s side born in the U.S. I am the fourth-generation African-American woman on my mother’s side to go to college. I have lived, worked, and studied internationally. My career has spanned four different industries. I am married with two children. The intersection of these dimensions has created enormous opportunity and possibility in my life.”

A graduate of Mills College, Slate is a respected and highly regarded leader in diversity and inclusion. She was honored with a Catalyst Award from the Information Technology Senior Management Forum earlier this year, was named a 2018 Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise, and was named one of the 2016 Top Influential Women in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine.

Slate said she wakes up every day in service of creating opportunity and possibility for people across the full spectrum of diversity. “The work I have the privilege of doing is about creating inclusive environments, where all people are welcome and can thrive.”