The We Are Cisco Singers: The Energy of Authenticity and Connection


Being yourself is something that, for me, is key to being successful. One of the things that I love the most about working at Cisco is that I can be my true self. During the day, I’m a Business Operation Manager and part of the Global Staffing Team, and at night, I’m a hard rock/ metal singer.  

In 2020, during the pandemic, connecting with people was difficult due to all the uncertainty and restrictions to keep us safe, so Gaby Córdova and I came up with an idea to create a singing club to have a safe space to connect and do what we love the most.

At first, we didn’t know if anyone would respond or if people would be interested in joining us. Also, giving singing lessons remotely was a new challenge for us, so we had to adapt our teaching to make sure anyone joining would get all the knowledge possible. Honestly, we didn’t know if it would work.

Screenshot of people on a Webex call.

To our surprise, a lot of people joined the club! People from all around Mexico: Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Puebla, to mention some. We called ourselves the We Are Cisco Singers and gathered virtually for weekly sessions. After some time, we performed two virtual concerts for Cisco employees, family, and friends. We also donated our time for a virtual giveback activity where we sang for children at a telethon during the holidays. It was so heartwarming to use our voices to do something good.

Cisco even created Music Mode in Webex, our collaboration platform, and that was literally music to our ears because we could hear the music and our voices with more clarity, which allowed us to create all the virtual events we did.

Finally, in 2022, all the We Are Cisco Singers were able to meet. We had been connecting and creating amazing things together for one and a half years, but to have the first class in person was wonderful. We were already part of the singing club, but now we are also great friends. We are a Cisco family.

Group of people holding "Cisco Sleep Out" signs.

When we first started the We Are Cisco Singers, we wanted to find a connection in a time when that was difficult, have fun, and share our singing knowledge. To our surprise, some of the students shared that because of the singing classes, they have better confidence and more self-esteem and that it’s helped them with communication and better performance at work and in their personal lives. It’s true that you never know how your actions could impact someone, and seeing now how this can also be a wellness space where people can grow, relax, do what they love, and have a good laugh is incredible.

We’ve also gotten the support of Inclusion & Collaboration Mexico and Pavelka, Cisco’s global health and well-being partner, to continue this amazing journey. It has given us great opportunities to do what we love and create new friendships with others we may not interact with during our daily jobs. Last year, we were honored to perform during the CX Mexico All Hands meeting, and this year, we performed during the Mexico All Hands meeting with Cisco’s Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer Fran Katsoudas, in attendance.

Cisco also gave my band and me the opportunity to perform virtually at the SleepOut, an annual Cisco fundraising event, in 2021, and in 2022, we were finally able to be there in person. We also took the stage during the Great Place to Work Mexico celebration (The 6th year we won this award in a row!) and at a Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) event for little girls to encourage them to be whatever they want to be and show them that, at Cisco, we have a place for them.

Two women on the floor smiling.

The journey is not over yet. We have more exciting activities planned for next year, like performing for the children of some of Cisco’s registered charitable organizations during Children’s Day and at the next SleepOut event.

Looking back, it’s crazy how one idea, one dream, can change your life. My key message is never to give up on your dreams and always be yourself. When you are your whole self, you open yourself up to connection, and the We Are Cisco Singers gave me connection when I needed it the most. We’ve grown, had fun, become great friends, and are now Cisco family. Cisco is the place where I have felt embraced to be myself more than ever in my whole life, and I would not change it for anything. Every day, I feel empowered to show I am proud to be a Cisconian.

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