Red Hat award nominations to honor open source innovation in business and women’s leadership are now open.

Red Hat has long history of honoring open source innovation, and last month kicked off two key awards programs: the 2016 Red Hat Innovation Awards and the 2016 Women in Open Source Awards. The Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the innovative ways that individuals, companies and partners worldwide are implementing Red Hat’s technologies, and the Women in Open Source awards honor women who make important contributions to open source projects and communities, or make innovative use of open source technology.

Red Hat Innovation Awards are given in six categories: infrastructure; modernize; transform; cloud; application development; and accelerate, integrate, automate. Each submission will be evaluated by a panel in the field of business and open source technology, and a winner will be recognized in each of the six categories. From the category winners, one Red Hat Innovator of the Year will be selected by the community through online voting.

The 2015 Innovation Award recipients were American Product Distributors Incorporated (APD), Avianca, CA Technologies, CBTS, Cisco and FICO. Avianca was crowned Red Hat Innovator of the Year. Read more about each of the honorees and the Innovation Awards or see our blog post on the recognition of global communications provider CBTS. The deadline for 2016 award nominations is December 11, 2015.

Surveys have shown that a very low percentage of open source participants are women. The Women in Open Source awards celebrate the achievements of women working in open source through two award categories: the Women in Open Source Academic Award for women who are enrolled in college or university, and the Women in Open Source Community Award.

Sarah Sharp won the Women in Open Source Community Award for 2015 for her efforts in improving communications and inviting women into open source communities. Sarah coordinates the Outreachy (formerly the Outreach Program for Women) mentorship program, which helps underrepresented groups get involved in open source software projects. Kesha Shah, a full-time student, won in the 2015 Academic Award for her outstanding coding and mentoring work while studying information and communication technology. Kesha was part of the Google Summer of Code program multiple times, contributed to three open source organizations, mentored students through a number of other initiatives, and is currently director for Women Who Code in Gujarat. Read more about the open source contributions Sarah and Kesha have made and submit a nomination for 2016. Nominations will be accepted through November 30, 2015.

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