On behalf of the Red Hat Women’s Leadership Community, I am pleased to share that Red Hat has partnered with Lean In, a non-profit organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, to support their efforts in helping women gain the confidence and knowledge needed to pursue their ambitions and achieve their goals.
As an open source company, Red Hat’s culture offers some advantages for women compared to more traditional companies. Red Hat associates are great at questioning the status quo, and we strive to create an environment that is open to new ways of thinking and encourages a broad array of perspectives. Red Hat associates work together as a community and expect to get feedback from people throughout the company, regardless of their role, location, or department. There is a lot of opportunity at Red Hat to make your voice heard, and our associates are actively encouraged to take on assignments that stretch their current skills.
In the midst of the excitement that a high-growth company like Red Hat offers, it can be easy to overlook the challenges women face in their careers. Our Women’s Leadership Community looks for areas where Red Hat can do better as we recruit, manage, and develop talented women. For example, we know that teams with strong gender balance offer a greater diversity of thought and deeper insights that can shape our business. Yet, we have seen some women in the technology industry opting out of the workforce permanently, feeling overwhelmed by competing demands from work and home. Many of these women later wish that they had found a way to continue their careers. For those of us who have made it out of the land of the sleep-deprived and discovered that it is possible to "have it all" at the same time—a career and a family—it is increasingly important to share our experiences and encourage other women as they negotiate a balance that works for their personal situations.
As Red Hat works to support women in the workplace, we encourage others to find ways within their organizations to do the same. To learn more about how other companies and individuals are working to support women, or to start your own Lean In discussion group, visit www.leanin.org.