Red Hat Executive VP and Chief People Officer, DeLisa Alexander, spoke with CRNtv about the impact women make in the workforce and the need to diversify companies, specifically in the technology industry.
"If our population at Red Hat doesn’t reflect that of our customers, it is going to be something that detracts from our ability to compete in our industry, because people want to see other people that look like them," said Alexander.
She said it's crucial to not only diversify the workforce but relate to clients in this way. When asked about how companies can make sure that girls get involved, she highlighted the important influence that the male population has on young, aspiring females in tech.
"One of the things that we’ve heard is that there are a lot of dads with girls, and those dads are very interested in seeing their girls become a part of the technology industry because they know that it’s a great industry, and there are great opportunities for those daughters," Alexander said.
A key aspect of her role as Chief People Officer is making sure she knows how to find the right talent, in addition to constantly growing and diversifying the pool. "I’m really proud of what Red Hat is doing in terms of our Women in Open Source Awards," she said. "We did that to be able to highlight what women are doing in open source and to create role models."
The Women in Open Source Awards 2017 featured two women making large strides in bridging the gender gap in the technology industry. Award winner Jigyasa Grover, a student at Dehli Technological University, is pursuing a bachelor's of technology in computer engineering. The other award recipient was Avni Khatri, who created the non-profit organization Kids On Computers, is focused on giving the underprivileged youth exposure to technology that they might not have known existed. Khatri recently accepted a position at Amazon as Technical Program Manager.