Ciena's commitment to the communities where we live and work can be summed up with one simple statement: Ciena Cares. We care about our neighbors, our customers, our industry, and our current and future employees.

Ciena has made significant updates to its approach to community engagement in 2017 and these are summarised below under the Ciena Cares program.

Community support and outreach

At the local level, we encourage our employees to get involved in their communities by supporting schools, food banks, and emergency relief programs and by participating in events such as blood drives, food collection drives, and charity races and golf tournaments that benefit local, national, and international organizations.

Flexible volunteer hours: We have moved away from corporate-sponsored, single days of service, to a new and innovative flexible volunteering arrangement that truly supports more of our people doing more good. The intent behind this shift is to encourage regional teams and individuals to support and build ongoing relationships with local charities.  We encourage our Ciena family to support their community however their passion takes them, and our corporate focus for Ciena Cares is squarely on the underserved.  By focusing our collective volunteer efforts here, the Ciena global community can span geopolitical borders and work alongside charities and initiatives that are providing nutritious and affordable food, sanitary water, housing, health, education, and employment. We currently have 32 Ciena Cares Champions leading these localized initiatives. Whether it’s through the Casa Hagar la Quinta Carmelita orphanage in Mexico City or the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose, California, Ciena staff are connecting directly with organizations on the front lines of serving the underserved in their regions.

Matching time with treasure: As an organization matures it becomes clear that corporate responsibility is about so much more than simply donating money. Recognizing that our people not only volunteer during work hours but also during their personal time, Ciena now matches both the giving of time and treasure. Case in point, if a Ciena volunteer takes a week of personal time every year to serve as a counsellor at a summer camp for foster children, those 40 hours will be matched with US$400 from the Ciena Cares program. Whether they are looking to give more time or more money, Ciena is committed to supporting our people at either end of that spectrum.

Matching treasure with treasure: We have increased our gift matching threshold to $1000 per annum (from $500) and made the process that supports it easier.    

Disaster relief.  Ciena now offers a new way to support disaster relief efforts in areas where our employees, customers and partners live and work. In an effort to support the people of affected communities as quickly as possible, Ciena individuals can donate and match their “treasure” through a new online portal that supports all of the above program components and provides a way to support organizations working directly in disaster areas.   

Gary Smith, Ciena’s President and CEO commented “I’ve always considered the responsibility of giving back to be something both personal and professional; personal in the sense that each individual brings their unique passions and gifts to bear when it comes to giving, and professional in the sense that an organization’s leadership must create an enablement dynamic from the center of the enterprise that amplifies the philanthropy of the individuals within it. From Sydney to Spokane, Miramar to Montreal, Ciena employees all over the world are finding amazing ways to give back to their communities with our Ciena Cares program backing them all the way.

If we, as an organization, are able to substantially increase the giving of time and treasure to people in need in the communities around us, then that is a legacy to be proud of.”

If you’d like to learn about the projects that our Ciena Cares Champions are leading in their respective communities, take a look at our Ciena Cares Instagram or our Ciena Facebook page, and we’ll have future updates throughout the year on the impact we’re making here on our Ciena Insights blog.

Corporate Philanthropy

Ciena Cares supports a variety of national and international charities at the corporate level, such as The United Way. We also make corporate-level donations in support of fundraising programs for assistance and disaster relief campaigns.

Support for STEM education

Ciena Cares provides in-kind donations and organizes team volunteer events for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with local schools from primary grades through college and university, as well as foundations and non-profit organizations focused on education.