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At Red Hat, our culture is at the forefront of our success. Technology is only part of the picture, without culture to drive it and nurture it, technology can't solve the problems we face today. Culture isn't something that just happens, you have to work towards fostering the culture you want to see in the workplace. As part of that work, Red Hat champions diversity and inclusion in our company and the larger open source community. We want to share some of what we're doing with you during the Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience.

Women’s Leadership Community Virtual Event

For the last 10 years, Red Hat’s Women’s Leadership Community has hosted a luncheon at Summit providing an opportunity for attendees to network with women in tech who are using open source technologies to create innovative solutions, and hear inspiring leadership stories. 

This year, we’re changing up the format and hosting a virtual event between DeLisa Alexander, our executive vice president and chief people officer, and Saron Yitbarek, founder of CodeNewbie and the host of our award-winning original podcast Command Line Heroes. During this event, attendees will be part of an inspirational discussion focused on Saron’s career working closely with developers in the technology industry. The conversation will be kicked off by the chair of the Women’s Leadership Community and vice president of software engineering, Denise Dumas. 

Join us on Tues., April 28, from 12-1 p.m. ET. 

Women in Open Source Award Winners

In its sixth year, the Women in Open Source Award was created and sponsored by Red Hat to honor women who make important contributions to open source projects and communities, or those making innovative use of open source methodology. Nominations for this year's award were accepted for two categories: academic (those currently enrolled in a college or university) and community (those working on or volunteering with projects related to open source). The 2020 winners are: 

Megan Byrd-Sanicki, who is recognized in the community category, is currently manager of research and operations at the Open Source Program Office at Google. With 10 years of experience working in open source, Megan was selected due to her leadership in creating sustainable and thriving open source communities. Her work as the executive director of the Drupal Association led to a stronger and more sustainable community through the development of revenue models, introduction of a mentorship program and promotion of an inclusive environment for contributors with different skill sets and backgrounds. In her current role in the Open Source Program Office at Google and as a member of the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative, Megan shares her lessons learned from Drupal with the open source community more broadly and works to strengthen community to corporate partnerships. Megan is credited for showing care for contributor wellbeing throughout her open source efforts. She is currently involved with Covid Act Now, COVID-19 data modeling project, and with FOSS Responders, a centralized initiative to support open source communities.

Netha Hussain, who is recognized in the academic category, is currently a medical doctor and a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Gothenburg. With 10 years of experience working in open source communities, Netha was selected for openly sharing her medical knowledge and increasing the number of topics relevant to women and contributions by women on Wikipedia. Her research involves using virtual reality technology for individuals who have had a stroke. She has made thousands of contributions related to healthcare and women in English and Malayalam languages to Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons. Beyond her contributions, Netha is also a strong supporter of women and LGBTQ+ communities and has organized Wikipedia outreach events for these groups in India. She has translated Mozilla projects and TED talks into the Malayalam language. Her dedication to being a part of a solution through knowledge sharing has led her to currently focus on creating and curating articles about COVID-19 on Wikipedia.

Congratulations Megan and Netha! 

General Session

Our Women in Open Source Award winners will be recognized by DeLisa during her keynote session on Tues. April 28, where she will also share insights into Red Hat’s broader diversity and inclusion efforts. Diversity and inclusion are not problems that organizations need to solve. They are solutions that can help an organization succeed today and be better prepared for the future. As the open source leader, Red Hat has unique and collaborative methods that foster more diverse populations, inclusive team dynamics, and open management practices both at Red Hat and in the broader technology community. DeLisa will share the company’s journey and offer resources to help other organizations on their diversity and inclusion journeys. 

Ask the Experts

Finally, if you have questions, we have answers! This year we’re providing attendees with the opportunity to talk to Red Hat experts and get answers to their questions with several Ask the Expert sessions. 

  • Women’s leadership in open source and technology - Tues., April 28, 3-3:30 p.m. ET: Jessica Forrester, an OpenShift senior principal software engineer at Red Hat, and early contributor to Kubernetes, will be taking questions to discuss her career in open source and technology, as well as the opportunities to increase diversity in the industry. Jessica is also an alumni of our Engineering Leadership Accelerator (ELA) program. The ELA offers a cohort of high potential women a year-long opportunity to expand their impact in engineering leadership roles at Red Hat. Jessica will be joined in the chat by the 2020 Women in Open Source Award winners who will be sharing their perspective with attendees.  

  • The importance of building wellbeing and resilience in times of uncertainty - Tues., April 28, 6-6:30 p.m. ET: Yasir Syeed, digital transformation sales specialist for North America Public Sector at Red Hat and a trained mindfulness instructor and crisis counsellor, will be taking questions on how to build wellbeing and resilience, especially in times of uncertainty. He is certified in solution-focused brief therapy and is pursuing his master’s degree in psychotherapy. Yasir will share his perspective on how individuals can recognize resilience within themselves and prioritize wellbeing during stressful times. 

  • Diversity and Inclusion Community in an Open Organization - Wed., April 29, 3-3:30 p.m. ET: John Chapman Jr., a senior manager of Information Technology at Red Hat, and chair of the Red Hat Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.) community, will be taking questions about building inclusive communities in an open organization. Leaders from Red Hat’s Military Veterans, Native and Indigenous, Pride and Unidos, the company’s Latinx and Hispanic community, will also join in the chat. 


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