July 1, 2024 By Kitty Chaney Reed 4 min read

At IBM®, fostering a culture of conscious inclusion and active allyship is paramount. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is not just a statement but a lived experience for every IBMer. 

Through our first season of the Be Equal podcast series, IBMers were in the spotlight as they took us deep into their unique experiences by simply sharing their stories. Through the power of engagement and collaboration of our people, from our Community Executive Councils to our BRGs (Business Resource Groups), we learned about how at IBM we walk the talk by demonstrating how a culture of inclusion supports our journey toward a more inclusive workplace. 

There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling, so I invite you to join us as we explore diverse perspectives, personal stories and actionable insights from IBMers who champion inclusion in their day-to-day lives. Listen to the episodes of the first season of the Be Equal Podcast to be inspired and learn about IBMers’ experiences from our eight DE&I communities. Don’t forget to share in your social media with your family, colleagues and friends via your favorite platform: Apple, Spotify or Amazon

IBM Be Equal podcast episodes 

Neurodiversity—The Power of Allyship: “It’s definitely a personal decision and journey that everybody is on, on coming out. I personally masked for being neurodivergent for about the first 30 years of my life. I was recognized as neurodivergent in college, which is common for many women. But it wasn’t until 2015 that I came out at IBM.” Nat Lyckowski 

Pan-Asian—What’s your Name?: “There are so many Southeast Asian people born in the 70s and 80s that have a similar story to mine. But in modern day, this refugee experience, I was part of the experience known as the boat people. But modern day, the refugee experience right now is happening in Mexico and in Syria and in the Ukraine.” Charlie Ung 

LGBTQ+—Thriving through Allyship: “Getting to know the Italian BRG (Business Resource Group) and having some really terrific support from individuals in IBM who themselves had gone through that journey, who were parents of LGBTQ+ community members themselves. I got so much support from there and that really started my journey as an active ally. I would say before that, I was performative, to really be ashamed to say that”. Raquel Katigbak 

I’m In—IBM Allyship Campaign: “I think it’s great to start by grounding ourself in what is allyship. And believe it or not, the concept has been around for a long time, but it’s so prevalent right now, Dictionary.com named it its Word of the Year because it is starting to become so important and companies like IBM are realizing this and jumping in with both feet”. Jeffery Halter 

Familia@IBM—Passion, Purpose, and Progress: “I was recently in Greece, for example, and I visited many clients there in government agencies. And unfortunately, there were no women in the rooms. And when I was with the Minister of Labor, I mentioned this to him. I said, ‘listen, we need to create a program here around skills that drives women inclusion in the society, because you’re not going to be able to sustain progress if you don’t have more women in the workforce, in the sectors that represent growth,’ and technology is one of those sectors, right?” Ana Paula Assis 

US Veterans—Leadership, Resilience, and Service: “I’ve seen it my whole career here. I think I’ve had nine jobs in 23 years. So that’s just indicative of that. It’s a diverse culture with an inclusive environment where you really can come to work as you are, and work with others that are as they are. So you don’t have to put on airs or act a particular way to be successful here. I think the BRGs provide, and that’s the Business Resource Groups, but they provide a great construct for you to be the best in both worlds”. Daniel Sturm 

Native American Heritage Month—We Are Here, but Not Alone: “I always refer back to during allyship conversations, and it’s from a creator called Official Millennial Black, and it’s quote, ‘An ally is someone who uses their privilege to make personal sacrifices to advocate for the rights of a marginalized group without seeking praise or reward’. And I find that to be so special and I find it to be so important, especially in instances where allyship could easily be performative, something where they seek praise instead of that sacrifice to actually help marginalized individuals”. Courtney Duckett  

Black History Month—The Impact of AI on Communities of Color: “I think the important thing is to recognize that it (AI) can have some positive impact. There’s been some work that specifically looks at using AI to help vulnerable communities, using AI to help with diversity and inclusion awareness and education, so I think those are all fantastic use cases that can really help communities of color”. James Stewart 

Women’s History Month—Inspire Inclusion: “I think appreciating each other and taking the time when we see people having unique challenges or perspectives or just celebrating small successes and wins, amplifying each other… This is where I think we can help our teams to have that intervening support. That might be someone being interrupted in a big meeting, might be someone who’s really quiet, hasn’t had their voice heard, but I think it involves us listening and giving everyone else a voice”. Joanne Wright 

See the Be Equal podcast series

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to continue to stay inspired and engaged in our Be Equal Podcast series, subscribe today! If you want to learn more about DE&I at IBM, please go to ibm. com/impact/be-equal, or send an email to inclusiveibm@us.ibm.com. 

Together, let’s continue to champion diversity, equity and inclusion. Be part of the movement. Be inspired. Be inclusive. Be equal. 

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