_This post is part of the Women of OpenStack open mic series to spotlight women in various roles within our community who have helped make OpenStack successful. With each post, we learn more about each woman’s involvement in the community and how they see the future of OpenStack taking shape. If you’re interested in being featured, please email [email protected]_
This time we’re talking to Holly Bazemore, Comcast’s director of elastic cloud strategy and deployments. She tells Superuser about why she’s thrilled to join the community and how she’s challenging her team to get more involved.
Five words that describe your character:
What’s your role in the OpenStack community?
While new to the OpenStack community myself, I am a user, an operator and an advocate. My goal is to contribute to the community as much as I can and get more people at Comcast involved along with me. I am thrilled that community is one of my responsibilities in my new role on Comcast’s OpenStack team.
Why is it important for women to get involved with OpenStack?
For the same reasons it is important to have women involved with technology; studies show that diversity promotes a more innovative and creative workforce which leads to better products. Secondly, OpenStack is used globally. It requires a diverse community to build a product that brings value to the global marketplace.
What obstacles do women face when getting involved in the OpenStack community?
I have not found that the obstacles in the OpenStack community are any different that other technical communities. The Women of OpenStack put in a lot of effort to get women involved and welcome them with open arms which can only service to increase female contributions and longevity.
You’ve been active in many women in tech groups over the years – what are the most significant changes you’ve seen?
When I first started in the technology field in the 90s, I was described as “one of the guys who just happened to be a girl.” If any of my coworkers valued the diversity I brought to the team, they were not consciously aware of it. In my current workplace, many people are more inclusive and acknowledge the distinct advantages diversity brings with it. I am celebrated for being a woman as well as for being capable.
You tweeted about women in devops teams,what would you do/are you doing to get more women aboard?
— Holly Bazemore (@hfbazemore) November 11, 2015
I advocate for things I feel passionate about and challenge women to get involved at any level. When I attend a conference or event, I try to take another woman with me and I go out of my way to make women attendees feel included and valued.
OpenStack has been called a lifelong learning project for those involved – how do you stay on top of things and/or learn more?
I have found that it is harder for me to stay on top of things if I am not actively involved in them. For 2016, I have challenged my entire team to be active participants in the community and am requiring that any who wish to participate in a Summit must be giving a talk, be an active contributor to the community or must be on a panel.
This keeps me involved as well as my entire team, which keeps us all focusing on and talking about the projects we’ve elected to participate in.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received from a mentor?
Change what you can change, influence what you can influence, and let go of the rest.