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Growing an Open and Inclusive Community

By March 9, 2021March 17th, 2021No Comments

Collaboration underpins everything we do in the RISC-V community. That’s why we encourage everyone to join us and participate, and why we are working hard to foster an inclusive global community that celebrates diversity in all its forms, including gender identity and expression, ethnicity, race, nationality, sexual identity or orientation, disability, religion, age, and beyond. We are committed to providing an open and welcoming environment that is safe and harassment-free, which is both infused in our culture and encoded in our Code of Conduct.

It’s clear that communities benefit the most with collaboration from a diverse set of ideas from a diverse set of people. There have been multiple studies focusing on this topic which highlight how diverse teams enhance creativity, improve problem solving, and are more innovative due to each team member bringing their own unique perspectives and approaches that are shaped by their backgrounds. 

I’ve led and supported organizations within technology-focused industries such as the Women in HPC and the Inclusivity committee at International Supercomputing that are focused on supporting the building of diverse teams and content for the benefit of technology. Diversity and inclusion are not only moral imperatives, they also foster innovation.

We at RISC-V International are proud to be at the center of a vibrant global ecosystem, with about one-third of our members from Asia Pacific, one-third from North America, and one-third from Europe. However, there is still much more work that needs to be done to identify and engage a more diverse community that reflects the incredible world we live in.

Some of the programs we have started in order to support a diverse ecosystem include: 

  • The RISC-V Mentorship Program matches mentors and project leaders with mentees for 12-week internship-style projects. Applications will open for the Summer 2021 session starting on Thursday, April 15, so stay tuned for more information.  
  • Diversity scholarships are offered to individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized groups to enable more participants to attend RISC-V events. Need-based scholarships are also available to help support individuals who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend.
  • Onsite resources at our in-person events such as child care, nursing rooms, quiet rooms, and all-gender restrooms will be available once in-person events return. Additionally, we are committed to hosting events at accessible locations whenever possible.
  • RISC-V and our community hosts a wide variety of events, around the world, many of which are free to attend. Some of these events are hosted fully or partly in languages other than English. To find out more about upcoming RISC-V events, please visit here.
  • Members have the option to create special interest groups (SIGs). While these originally were centered around technology topics, members are also able to create SIGs focused on their unique priorities. 

I focus on actions that will invite and engage a more diverse community.  These actions involve asking questions about how we can do better, taking new ideas and implementing them, and reviewing the results and improving on them. 

As we continue to collaborate in driving a new era of innovation, it’s essential for everyone to feel welcome, to feel safe to be who they are, and to know that they are accepted within the RISC-V community. We are thankful for members’ dedication to creating and building this incredible community, and we look forward to collaborating with everyone to continue to make it even better.

About Kim McMahon

Kim McMahon is the Director of Marketing of RISC-V International with a deep background in marketing for open source and technology. Prior to RISC-V, she worked in marketing with companies such as SGI, Cray, VMware, and the {code} Team at Dell. She has worked with diversity groups including Women in HPC, the inclusivity and student program at the ISC High Performance Computing Conference, and the inclusivity committee for the ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference. Kim has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Northern Colorado.

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