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AUTHOR PROFILE Laura Malinasky
Laura Malinasky is the head of both the legal and people teams at Planet.

Planet Software Impact Program Pushes for Racial Equity


At Planet, our mission is to use space to help life on Earth. And while advocating for social and racial justice may not necessarily involve satellites and taking pictures from space, we believe we can play a role in something that’s so important to life on Earth.

We recognize the uncomfortable truth that we have not seen the progress we desire both within the tech industry and within our own workforce when it comes to representing a more diverse range of communities, especially communities of color. While over 50 percent of Planet leaders identify as being a part of an underrepresented group, less than two percent of the U.S. workforce identifies as Black or African-American. Planet and our industry need to do better.

We want to become a driving force for change. To that end, we are excited to announce a new program, the Planet Software Impact program.

Our own SVP of Software Engineering, Brian Hernacki, has spearheaded this initiative as a result of seeing the cycles of inequity firsthand in his decades of work in industry.

“We recognize that systemic barriers play a significant role in the lack of diversity in the tech sector,” Hernacki says. “Only seeking talent from high-cost institutions creates enormous exclusion. Relocation to high-cost cities also filters out too much promising talent. We have an opportunity to break those patterns.”

What is the Planet Software Impact program?

Planet has developed a new program with a guiding principle of expanding and presenting career opportunities for those who have been historically marginalized and underrepresented within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), beginning with the BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) community. Our goal is to expand opportunity to those who might otherwise be inhibited by barriers of affordability, location and access, helping them to make the transition into working in the technology industry.

We will be working to offer career opportunities that are remote and will target three general metro areas in the United States for the initial launch: Detroit, Atlanta and Oakland (or places within a reasonable transit distance). We are especially considering full- or part-time students who are currently enrolled, taking a gap year, or who have been displaced by a previous internship due to the effects of COVID-19.

In late September, Planet will welcome our first Software Impact interns on both our Developer Relations and Quality Assurance teams. These cohorts will have the opportunity to develop together while working remotely, learning from some of the best in the field. Facilitated during an extended internship season from October 12, 2020 to February 19, 2021, this group will get to pair real world experience with current academic and educational pursuits.

Apply to Software Impact 2020

We are taking a unique approach to the launch of this program. A cover letter is not required.

We just ask that you answer four questions so we can get to know more about you and your unique experiences. Please include information about how this program can complement your concurrent instruction and whether you are seeking full- or part-time experience. We are excited to hear from you!

To apply for Planet’s Software Impact Program, visit our careers page

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