As we head into the end of 2019, I’ve been reflecting on the past year. This has been a time of immense opportunity, successes and growth for Red Hat and our associates. 

One of the things I am most proud of is the recognition we received this year for our culture and the environment we strive to create for our associates. In October Forbes ranked us as No. 3 on its list of the World’s Best Employers (our first time on the list!). In addition, Fortune included us on their list of the 50 Best Workplaces for Parents and the 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity.

We know that Red Hat’s open culture—the set of values and principles that influence how we work together and how we serve our customers—has always been a key component of our employer value proposition (community, passion, purpose and opportunity). Our culture, which flows from how we operate, is what I think makes Red Hat a great place to work, and it’s been so rewarding to see others notice that as well. 

But what does it really mean to be a great place to work? For Red Hat, it starts with creating the environment for associates to be able to leverage their individual strengths and use their unique experiences to do their best work and reach their full potential. That’s going to look different for every organization. For Red Hat, it also means listening to our associates about what they want in a workplace. And it’s about fostering a diverse and inclusive meritocracy in which everyone is able and encouraged to provide feedback and contribute regardless of title or tenure. 

We strive to create an inclusive meritocracy by defaulting to open, whether it be how we approach our technology or our culture. The success of an open organization like Red Hat depends on all associates feeling a sense of belonging where they can bring their authentic self to work and feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Engagement drives business success and creates the associate experience we want to deliver as the open source leader.

Our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Communities are an examples of how Red Hatters foster an inclusive environment and drive innovation. These associate-initiated-and-led groups create a space for associates to connect on shared experiences and offer unique perspectives that move our organization forward. We have found that by enabling our people to drive the creation, direction, and activities of the communities, associates are more engaged and confident about the direction of Red Hat’s culture. Another place we leverage associates to drive innovation is in the benefits we provide to all Red Hatters. The changes we’ve made to our parental leave offering in the last few years were born from direct feedback. Red Hatters let us know that we needed to expand our offering to include more family types and additional time for new parents. As a result, we have a stronger parental leave program that serves our current associates better. The dialogue is ongoing and lively.

Other accolades we’ve received earlier this year are a testament to the Red Hat culture. We were ranked No. 50 on Fortune's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For and No. 8 on its list of the Best Workplaces for Millennials. We’re also honored to be ranked No. 43 on FlexJobs Top 100 Companies For Remote Jobs and for Red Hat UK to be ranked No. 4 in Best Workplaces in Tech 2019 by the Great Place to Work Institute. 

I’m truly humbled seeing this list. Thank you and congratulations to all the Red Hatters around the world who help make Red Hat, Red Hat. It’s because of you that we are the best place to make a difference together. Your passion and belief in the power of open will carry us into our next exciting year and beyond!

DeLisa Alexander is executive vice president and chief people officer at Red Hat.

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