Business leader with Brac ties to address UCCI

Cisco Systems vice president will be keynote speaker

Shari Slate

A first-generation American with roots in Cayman Brac will be the keynote speaker at the University College of the Cayman Islands’ commencement ceremony 7 Nov.

Shari Slate is vice president and chief inclusion and collaboration officer for California-based technology company Cisco Systems, and has spoken to business groups across the globe during her career.

Slate is known as a leader in bringing diversity and inclusion to the workplace, specifically to tech companies.
When UCCI President Stacy McAfee invited Slate to be the keynote speaker, she readily accepted upon learning of this year’s theme, ‘Nation Building: Transforming the Future’, saying, “President McAfee had me at hello.”

A frequent visitor to Cayman, Slate’s great uncle, who is 97, lives on Cayman Brac. She was in Cayman last week and toured the UCCI campus, along with her colleague Cynthia J. Temesi, an innovation adviser for Cisco. They led brainstorming sessions and planning collaborative projects with faculty, staff and students at the university.

Slate’s work has focussed on the intersection of diversity, inclusion, collaboration and technology. As a result, Cisco is reportedly embracing new models of inclusion and collaboration to fuel innovation, accelerate market leadership, and re-imagine workplace practices in the digital era. She has won numerous international awards.

She was named a 2017 Diversity Leader by Profiles in Diversity Journal, and one of the Top Influential Women in Corporate America for 2016 by Savoy magazine. She has also been recognised as one of the ‘Most Influential Women in California’ by the California Diversity Council.

Slate is a graduate of Mills College, with a bachelor’s degree in political, legal, and economic analysis.