In recognition of Black History Month, we are excited to feature a series highlighting corporate partners whose employees have supported our mission and work – and in particular, their Black employees. Each week in February, we will recognize these mission-driven community leaders and corporate partners while celebrating and championing the voices of Black professionals in Tech.
Up first, Oracle.
As one of the world’s largest software and cloud based companies, Oracle believes that innovation starts with inclusion. And in order to transform the world of tech, Oracle employees must first build to transform the communities in which they live and work. With its corporate headquarters soon moving to Austin, Oracle is playing a crucial role in helping to make Central Texas the nation’s capital for diverse, homegrown, technical talent.
Our relationship with Oracle began three years ago with George Adeosun joining as a professional development mentor. Fast forward to today, Oracle has now delivered over 40 volunteers who serve in a variety of roles ranging from workshop mentors, resume reviewers and much more. In partnership, many of Oracle’s Employee Resource Groups (ERG) are working to create a diverse workplace through inclusive recruitment, diversity training, and by providing various opportunities for community engagement.
The Alliance of Black Leaders for Excellence (ABLE), emerged as one of Oracle’s noteworthy ERGs, dedicated to the advancement and enrichment of Black professionals. With 15 chapters and counting, ABLE is committed to empowering their employees who in return are empowering the next generation of Black leaders. In fact, Oracle employees are entitled to 40 paid volunteer hours every year to engage and participate in a variety of community based projects. Many ABLE members and allies are generously dedicating their time on projects that they feel will enrich the lives of Black community. Projects like Code2College.
Through ABLE, we have been able to recruit volunteers from a diverse set of backgrounds who are all committed to empower students through exposure and mentorship. Volunteers like Taleah Hawthrone (Account Executive for Engineered Systems, Storage, & Cloud Infrastructure) and Beissy Sandoval (Oracle Cloud Demo Engineer), who both played a crucial role in developing and leading our first STEM Case Competition with Oracle last Fall. During the event, students were empowered to explore their creativity to create and present a case study centered around customer pain points only using Oracle solutions.
In addition to sharing their employee’s time and talent with STEM industry exposure, Oracle volunteers have also committed to enact change through professional development. Each month, Code2College hosts Mass Remote Events (MREs) which are 48-hour remote events where volunteers have the opportunity to engage in a variety of mission-critical activities. Oracle volunteers like Keri Duthie who participated in our most recent Overload MRE (she also served as an after-school instructor in our Turbo Program last fall) are ultimately creating a change which will cause a ripple effect on the Austin landscape for generations. By equipping students with professional resumes, Oracle is playing their part in empowering students to successfully apply to their first job or internship. Fun fact: last year, Oracle secured 2nd place in our Overload MRE and just recently, won the 3rd place title. With another MRE happening in just 2 weeks, Code2College: Access, maybe they will take 1st place this time around!
Our relationship with Oracle has flourished into a corporate partnership securing their place on our 2020 leaderboard. Focused on closing the skill gaps faced by many Black and Hispanic students, Oracle is encouraging collaboration across their ERG’s by empowering their employees to develop, lead and present during our events. We are grateful for our partnership thus far, and with a new semester well underway, we are excited to see how Oracle will continue to make an impact on the lives of our students. Whether through mentorship, STEM exposure, or creating more awareness, we deeply value our partnership with Oracle and together, are ready to continue to champion their work for the benefit of Central Texas and beyond.