Opportunities are open at Red Hat. Whether you're just starting your career journey or a long-time Red Hatter, there are endless paths to hone your skills and pursue your passions. Last year we introduced you to two women doing exceptional work in our Products and Global Engineering organizations. We're excited to share how they've continued to unlock their potential as Red Hatters.
Catching up with Kate
Kate Carcia Poulin joined Red Hat in 2017, eager to become a people leader, and within a year, she was on a path toward leadership. From software engineer to project manager to team lead to associate manager when we last spoke. Today, Poulin is a manager in our core kernel engineering group, where she leads a team of 14 working on technology that connects people around the globe via telecommunication networks.
Leading up to her promotion, Poulin participated in our Engineering Leadership Accelerator (ELA) – a 9-month program for high-potential women in technical engineering roles designed to build resilience and expand their leadership impact at Red Hat. But she’s quick to tell you that ELA was just one factor furthering her development and that what you do outside the organization is just as important.
“My growth as a leader comes from the time I get outside of work, too. Red Hat is incredibly supportive of taking time away from work, which is critical to anyone’s growth. The ability to slow down, recharge and give back is fulfilling and contributes to my well-being. In the last year, I’ve become a foster for animals through a local humane society. I also got married (hence the name change from Kate Carcia to Kate Carcia Poulin).”
When asked what she's most excited about when she thinks of Red Hat's future and role in it, Poulin is just as excited that while some things are changing, some things are staying the same.
“I’m most excited about Red Hat’s expansion into edge markets and my team’s part in this work. I’m also proud that Red Hat is still comfortable with change and maintaining its open culture. When I started this journey, it was important for me to be my authentic self. That is still true today.”
Pursuing a path with Priyanka
Priyanka Nag's open source journey, which began in college, is what brought her to Red Hat in 2015, where she realized a drive within herself to work more closely with customers. Nag was recently promoted to manager for our customer experience and engagement team in India, where she leads a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) support team. Her scope has broadened from regional to global responsibilities and she will be managing associate managers instead of individual contributors – a challenge she’s very much looking forward to.
“Transitioning from an I, me, myself to a we, ours, and team mindset is always challenging. As individual contributors, our goals are simpler since only we are responsible for them. The equation completely changes once we step into the leadership journey. My success is no more just my performance, now it's my team’s performance that defines my work.”
Nag completed Red Hat’s Aspiring Managers Program (AMP) and later the M-series (management series) to prepare for her latest transition. The courses helped her decide if leadership was right for her and how to lead in our open culture.
"Our open culture is what makes this journey fun as well as challenging at times. In addition to formal programs, I also have leaders I look up to every day. I learn from them, follow them, admire them, and aspire to become like them. And when someone walks up to me and says that my actions have inspired them, that's when I consider my efforts as successful."
When asked about what she’s most excited about in her new role and the future of Red Hat, Nag shared that’s currently leading a team supporting a new product – Red Hat In-vehicle Operating System.
"Getting to work on a product from the very initial phase, where we are not only building the product but also building the entire ecosystem and processes around that product, well, I can't think of a better learning opportunity.
Seven and half years at Red Hat. When I say that out loud to my friends, they say, oh, that's a long time you have spent in one organization. But, for me, I feel like I have just gotten started. There is so much more Red Hat still has to offer me, and there is so much more I still have to offer Red Hat."
Paying it forward
Both women are proud of where their career in tech has taken them and look forward to what's to come. Both shared sound advice for women just getting started in this field.
Poulin encourages you to "Build your support system. You do not have to navigate the industry alone. I would not be where I am today without having my support system. My support system lifts me up when I need it most, guides me when I feel lost, and hears me when I want to feel understood. Seek out mentors. There may be formal mentoring programs internal or external to your company that could match you with a mentor. But also, don't be afraid to reach out to others who you want to learn from. I have found that most people actively want to help, and all you have to do is ask."
For Nag, there’s one piece of advice she always gives to her family and friends, “When you are still getting started, don’t only focus on money alone. Always look at the bigger picture and try to gauge where you will get the maximum learning opportunity, where you will consistently grow, and where you will get the best work-life balance.”
What paths could you explore in Red Hat's open organization? Join us to find out.