August 19, 2020
Categorized: Corporate Citizenship
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Author: Daniel Munro, Client Executive – Department of Defence, IBM Australia
IBM has a proud history of championing technology for good. The recent global disruption may have exposed entrenched inequalities in our society, but it has also strengthened our resolve to use technology to achieve a future that is brighter for all, not just a few.
That social change starts from within.
IBM has more than 100 years of work on diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace. We’re proud to foster an environment where every IBMer is able to thrive because of their differences, not in spite of them.
That’s why we’re committed to a wide range of initiatives designed to build skills and capability in Australia, in partnership with Australian and Indigenous-owned organisations of all sizes. These initiatives aim to level the playing field and make our industry more accessible to people from all walks of life. After all, good ideas can come from anywhere.
The next generation
We’re taking a multi-pronged approach to diversity and inclusion in the workforce. At the graduate level, we’ve partnered with Federation University Australia for over 20 years to invest in the future of our industry. This partnership has produced one of the most prestigious information technology (IT) degrees in Australia, with real-world industry experience and the opportunity for students to earn a place in the IBM team. IBM also runs the innovative P-Tech program providing students alternative pathways into a career in IT, through a diploma-level course and by matching them with IBM mentors. This mentor relationship supports the students’ learning and exposes them to workplace opportunities, helping them transition successfully into their future career.
New talent can also be found in unexpected places, like the veteran community. Veterans have a unique skill set and background, but also the right aptitude and attitude to be successful in many tech careers. That’s why we’re teaming with WithYouWithMe, an organisation focused on reskilling veterans for new tech careers in areas across IT, including data analytics, cybersecurity, software development and automation. With more than 60 per cent of successfully trained veterans coming from non-tech backgrounds, WithYouWithMe is able to help them transition into a meaningful civilian life, as well as diversify the pipeline of talent entering the Australian workforce.
Reconciliation Action Plan
Diversity, as recognised by IBM A/NZ Managing Director Katrina Troughton, leads to innovation – and innovation is essential to the success of the business. Programs like the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) promote diversity by increasing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment through reconciliation and inclusion across the business. RAP takes a holistic approach to inclusion from youth mentorship to career prospects, engaging with Indigenous run tech partners and suppliers, as well as enriching the workplace through education and respect for traditional cultures.
IBM is also committed to neurodiverse hiring. This often-overlooked group can bring many unique strengths to the workplace. For example, people with autism often bring a different perspective, strong focus, loyalty and attention to detail. We believe that everyone has something to offer, and it is our responsibility to create an environment where they can do their best work.
As we continue to fight the #goodtech fight, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of changing the world and forget to look inwards with that same passion. Remember, good tech starts from within. Only with a workforce that truly represents the world around us can we solve the greatest challenges facing it.