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"AFROTECH was not only insightful, but also greatly heightened my sense of belonging in the tech space! It was amazing to both make new connections in the industry, as well as bond with other Black employees at Databricks."
— Felice Cabral, Black Employee Network ERG lead and Sr. Recruiting Coordinator

Black, bold and big on Data

This November, Databricks returned to Austin, TX for the AFROTECH™ Conference, the largest Black tech conference in the U.S.. AFROTECH is a vibrant, energetic and dynamic space that brings together the Black tech community for unique learning and networking opportunities. Industry leaders and organizations come together under one roof to share emerging trends and inspire the next generation of innovators.

Black tech conference

At Databricks, we believe in raising the bar through encouraging Bricksters to participate in professional development opportunities and conferences. This year, Databricks sponsored 16 Black Employee Network (BEN) ERG leaders and members to engage in this transformative space that promotes learning and diversity in tech and innovation.

The Toolkit to Advancing your Engineering Career

Databricks was represented for the first time on stage at AFROTECH. Grammarly, one of our customers, also joined in on the fun! Maneesh Bhide, Director Field Engineering at Databricks, and Chris Locklin, Head of Data Platform at Grammarly, took the Product + Engineering stage.

The crowd was energized to hear more on critical topics like hiring Black talent in tech, fostering a passion for the field, and the importance of supportive work environments. Effective leadership and mentorship were also among the important topics discussed during the session.

Effective leadership is displayed in a manager who inspires trust and facilitates problem-solving for their team. The speakers shared examples of a good leader as someone that helps people to get back on track and helps people grow, even at an individual contributor level. Success as a leader, they added, is reflected in what your team can or has accomplished.

Attendees were encouraged to seek out mentorship opportunities as a resource to navigate professional development and growth.

"Whether you're just starting out your career or looking to pivot, finding a mentor or someone you look up to is important." Maneesh Bhide adds "Talk to people in Employee Resource Groups and see what their experiences at their organizations are like."

Engineering Career

Strength in Numbers: A Partnership to Promote Inclusion in Tech

A big focus for our Black Employee Network ERG this year has been around building relationships with Black ERGs at other tech companies. The goal is to expand our communities, share best practices around how to continue to build our ERGs, and support one another.

This year at AFROTECH, our Databricks Black Employee Network officially partnered with Black@Youtube and the Black ERG at Adobe to host a joint private networking event to kick-off the conference.

This event was an opportunity for attendees at AFROTECH to directly engage with leaders in the GenAI and Tech space - including Databricks champions actively seeking to grow their teams. Over 100 attendees gathered to hear great career advice from David Hackett, VP of Field Engineering and BEN executive sponsor, including goal setting for increased impact and visibility in organizations.

Promote Inclusion in Tech

"If I want to achieve that [goal] next year, this is the path I need to chart. Micro goals for professional visibility, recognition and navigating organizations is what helped me overcome that."
— David Hackett, VP of Field Engineering and BEN Executive Sponsor

Brickster Community Building

Bricksters value opportunities to build meaningful connections outside of virtual spaces. The team dinner at Afrotech was exactly that!

Brickster Community Building

It was remarkable to witness the real time engagement and connection across Bricksters who normally wouldn't connect on a day-to-day basis. Early and mid-career Bricksters engaged in this space with senior level executives, bridging members closer to the already existing sense of community amongst the group.

Let's Build the Future of Data + AI together!

Databricks values the community we are building and all of the work the ERG leaders put into creating dynamic and inclusive spaces for Bricksters to engage in. Together, we will build the future of Data + AI.

Future of Data

If you're interested in exploring your next career opportunity at Databricks, view all of the open roles here.

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