April 12, 2022 By Carla Grant Pickens 3 min read

Through our diversity, equity, and inclusion journey at IBM, our goal is to provide a culture of inclusivity and belonging for all IBMers. During this past year, amid the continuation of a global pandemic, we created an environment to meet employees where they were, including their needs on flexibility and support options. Our focus on inclusion extends across our business so that each IBMer can fully bring their authentic selves to work.

Today, we released IBM Impact, which encapsulates IBM’s environmental, social, and governance progress in 2021. This report includes how we address creating spaces and opportunities for everyone by focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion within IBM as well as globally. Even with IBM’s profound history in diversity and inclusion, there are still opportunities for growth and progress.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is focused on the following four strategic areas:

  1. Accountability for our leaders in achieving goals, owning actions, and communicating progress to our employees. This includes our commitment, as outlined in IBM’s 2021 Annual Report, to the diversity modifier added to IBM’s Executive Annual Incentive Program to improving diverse representation of our workforce. Our three-year trend shows an increase year-over-year in women globally and all U.S. minority group representation and hiring across overall representation, management, executive, and technical levels. In this year’s report, we’ve also committed to further transparency and have disclosed our U.S. EEO-1 data.
  2. Advocacy that increases opportunity through investments, partnership programs, and legislation. We donated $2 million to our partners, advocating for diversity, and supported several bills brought forth to the U.S. Congress in support of our diverse communities of IBMers. Created in June 2020, the Emb(race) advocacy campaign continues as a call to action and an organizing principle that empowers IBM to ensure racial equality. Our commitment to supplier diversity included a 14.1% increase in diverse suppliers.
  3. Allyship that creates a psychologically safe and supportive workplace where IBMers can be their authentic selves. We focused on learning in 2021 by developing a learning course bundle that focused on building an inclusive culture, and diversity and inclusion concepts on identity, bias, and race.
  4. Employee experience that empowers every IBMer to exemplify the behaviors that foster a culture of conscious inclusion where innovation can thrive and individuals progress. We are passionate about promoting, advancing, and celebrating all backgrounds, and last year, we organized more than 40 intersectionality events. It is important for us to engage employees to embrace how we are different and where we share a commonality. In 2021, more than 41% of hires were women globally. In the U.S., 12.9% were Black and 8.6% were Hispanic.

IBM Impact is focused on relevant data and our plans to continue to progress and act on our diversity and inclusion commitments. Three key areas where we plan to take further, meaningful action include:

Focusing on talent acquisition and creating diverse pipelines

Along with our signature recruiting events for diverse communities, we have partnered with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in establishing more than 20 Cybersecurity Leadership Centers to build a more diverse U.S. cyber workforce. We are committed to expanding our internship program for students as well as turning them into full-time positions as early professional hires.

Investing in apprenticeships and skills

IBM is investing an additional $250 million in our apprenticeship and New Collar programs, which offer an alternative path to in-demand skills and tech industry jobs. OneTen is dedicated to upskilling, hiring, and promoting one million Black Americans over the next 10 years, for which we are a co-founding company and partner.

Focusing on retention programs

In addition to bringing in new talent, we are committed to retaining and growing IBMers through mentorships and sponsorships. This includes being intentional about career velocity for our colleagues representing diverse communities.

We are proud of our work in cultivating an inclusive workplace and appreciate all the efforts IBMers have contributed to our progress today. For more than 110 years, IBM has been a catalyst that makes the world work better – and we remain dedicated to driving actionable change and outcomes for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society.

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