RISC-V teams for open hardware diversity alliance

RISC-V teams for open hardware diversity alliance

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Four industry groups and companies have come together to form an alliance to boost the diversity of people working in the open hardware industry

RISC-V International, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is working with the CHIPS Alliance, the OpenPower Foundation and Western Digital on the Open Hardware Diversity Alliance.

The Alliance will develop and provide learning and networking programs, mentorship opportunities and inclusive environments across the ecosystem of open hardware. The Alliance will be focused on supporting professional advancement and encouraging equal participation for women and underrepresented individuals in the open hardware community. This is a key way to address the skills shortage in the industry.

“Communities benefit from a diverse set of ideas from the broad community. RISC-V is working to build, share, and support these inclusive opportunities by bringing new talent and ways of thinking to the open hardware community,” said Kim McMahon, Director of Visibility and Community Engagement at RISC-V (above left). “The Open Hardware Diversity Alliance will set the course for inclusivity in the open hardware community by building programs and diversity that inspires creativity and drives innovation.”

The Alliance aims to fill the gaps and create opportunities to improve career development in open hardware design by providing underrepresented individuals with the necessary steps and fostering inclusive environments. By providing a supportive community, the program will help to drive professional growth, empower the development of technical careers, encourage the recognition of all ideas in technical innovations and support career growth.

Programs planned to support the personal and career goals of women and underrepresented individuals in the open hardware community include strategic recruiting and welcoming activities, raising profiles by highlighting and publishing achievements, providing tools to build confidence, support career growth, participate in leadership, speak at events and grow community presence as well as supporting visibility goals through coaching and amplification of individual efforts.

“The Open Hardware Diversity Alliance is a huge step forward for the open hardware industry. I, personally, want to make a big impact on not only today’s underrepresented individuals, but the many generations to come,” said Marjan Radi, co-chair of the Open Hardware Diversity Alliance and R&D Technologist, Research, Western Digital (above right)

The Open Hardware Diversity Alliance is looking for individuals who want to contribute their time and expertise to support the Alliance’s mission. Programs and assistance range from developing and conducting training programs to membership recruitment, and event and tradeshow support.

“Equity, diversity and inclusion is integral to Western Digital and its employees,” said Richard New, vice president of Research at Western Digital. “As a global company, we believe that the most effective way to embrace the diversity of our customers and community is to mirror it from within.

“When barriers come down, the door to innovation stands wide open,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V. “Together we’re cultivating confidence, connections, and opportunities to strengthen and grow the field as we engage women and minorities in the most innovative and open computing era of our time.” 

The Open Hardware Diversity Alliance team consists of co-chairs Kim McMahon, Director of Visibility and Community Engagement at RISC-V and Marjan Radi, R&D Technologist at Western Digital Research. Joining McMahon and Radi on the advisory team is Rob Mains, General Manager at CHIPS Alliance; Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V; Zvonimir Bandic, Research Senior Director of Next-Generation Platform Technologies at Western Digital; Mendy Furmanek, IBM Director and President of OpenPOWER Foundation; and James Kulina, Executive Director at OpenPOWER Foundation.

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