Shattering expectations with entrepreneurship and Cisco Canada

Joyce Yu

Joyce Yu, a Waterloo co-op student and a member of the Cisco Women’s Entrepreneurs’ Circle.

Leading through mentorship and nurturing an atmosphere of “anything is possible” is what Cisco Canada and the University of Waterloo have created with the Women’s Entrepreneurs’ Circle program. This program is striving to make gender equality in STEM fields a reality and is a part of the University’s IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative. Joyce Yu, a member of the Circle, sees the mentorship as an opportunity to grow and gain experience in her field, while being bold and fearless in pursuing her goals.

Joyce is a second year Business Administration and Computer Science student. For her, being a part of the program and the video was an empowering experience.

It felt great to talk about what I believe to be the importance of gender equality in the workplace and in university, as well as its impact in the technology industry and the world. The video didn’t feel like a monologue of what I think should be; I saw it as my way of contributing to this global shift in the perceptions of women in technology by presenting a fresh and raw perspective on the matter.

Participating in the Women’s Entrepreneurs’ Circle and the conversation on gender equality has shown Joyce how, as a community, we’re embracing the different perspectives and strengths everyone has to offer and through that, eliminating the barriers that stop people from contributing. She sees gender equality as a way of inviting more people to bring their ideas to the table and to feel confident in their knowledge and skills.

I have wanted to change the way my female peers perceived themselves since high school. Statements similar to ‘I can’t do something because I’m a girl’ were said too many times. It wasn’t just glass ceilings that we had to overcome, it was also our self-perceptions. I believe that if you want something and you think you deserve it, go ahead and get it.

HeForShe is the UN solidarity movement that spotlights the need for gender equality in today’s world. As a part of the University’s commitment to the HeForShe IMPACT10x10x10 framework, some of our amazing UWaterloo co-op students and one of our partners, Cisco Canada, are striving to make gender equality in STEM a reality. The Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle program matches Waterloo co-op students with women leading small and medium technology businesses. Watch the video above to find out more about the program!