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When conversations around DEI within the technology industry are brought up, often what you hear is a lack of a strong pipeline or challenges with finding qualified, diverse talent to fill job openings. Having a diverse talent pool is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have in order to maintain innovation and continue to drive business forward. At Red Hat, we face the same issues and what we have found is that in order to find diverse talent, we need to go to where the talent is.

With this spirit in mind, we are working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to expose more students to open source, help keep them interested and engaged in their field of study and to better create connections that will help them enter the workforce. While this will strengthen our talent pipeline, our focus is on strengthening the pipeline for the software industry as a whole. We like to think of it as open sourcing DEI, when we work together we all succeed. 

Shaw University

In 2020, Red Hat established a strategic relationship with Shaw University, an HBCU located near our headquarters in Raleigh, NC., designed to support its growing Computer Science program and offer training, certification and internship opportunities to students. Some of the activities include virtual events with Red Hat associates focused on a variety of topics, from skills building, such as resume writing and interview techniques, to more technology specific sessions that introduced students to Linux, Python, cloud computing, GitHub, open source communities and agile development. In addition to our work with students, we are also working closely with faculty to help with curriculum development as well as creating a sponsored faculty fellowship. 

All In Program

In addition to our work with Shaw University, this year Red Hat signed on as a founding corporate member of the "All In" program. In collaboration with GitHub and The Linux Foundation, among others, the program focuses on creating a more inclusive open source community. Through education, professional development and hands-on experience, 30  students from six HBCUs and one university founded for the education of Native Americans will have the opportunity to learn about open source. This work spans different career paths available through a career in open source - across social impact, security, data privacy, documentation and support. In order to provide the best experience for students, our Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.) Employee Resource Group (ERG), alongside our Native & Indigenous ERG, worked to identify teams and projects for them to work on and provided mentors. The program culminates with a summer internship in 2022, providing real-world experience and networking opportunities to provide training that the students can build on upon graduation. Red Hat will be hosting four of the All In students next summer.

These are just two of the initiatives Red Hat is involved in and we are committed to improving the representation and inclusivity of the tech industry for women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups. Being born in open source communities, we firmly believe that solving challenges, including improving diversity, equity, and inclusion, cannot be solved by one company or organization alone. It’s only by working together, and being open and transparent that we’ll be able to make a difference.

Learn more about our DEI approach here

About the author

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.

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