Women at IBM

Transforming Careers, While Transforming IBM

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(2 min read) By Patricia Felizetti

This past November, Joanne Wright received the Stevie Award for “Female Executive of the Year” in the Business Services category. The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are the world’s premier business awards for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees and organizations run by women. More than 1,500 nominations from organizations and individuals around the world were submitted to be considered for awards this year in categories such as Entrepreneur of the Year, Executive of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year, and Startup of the Year, among others.

After graduating from the University of Glasgow, Joanne Wright joined IBM as a trainee buyer in the Personal Computing division in the days that global operations had suppliers spread across five continents. She quickly learned how IBM manages its business in a global way.

At IBM Greenock, Joanne immediately experienced people from different cultures, diverse backgrounds, different mindsets. She also noticed they had something in common: the passion for what they were building together and the sense of community they had created around that common goal. Ever since, Joanne has been a true believer that diversity is the cornerstone of everything we do, and a key driver of creativity and innovation.

At IBM, we believe that the future belongs to all of us and we’re committed to providing our technology and talent to help our people grow their skills for the future. IBM offers a variety of careers and the opportunity to shift your career along the way, based on skills, success, and merit, and Joanne is a great example.

Joanne held multiple senior leadership positions before leading IBM’s transformation to a data-driven cognitive enterprise. What does that mean you might ask? That means she is responsible for redesigning IBM’s operating model, driving end-to-end digital solutions and building agility while accelerating the value that IBM’s business brings to customers, partners, and employees.

Throughout her career, Joanne took on new roles that prepared her for where she is today – and she grew not only professionally – but personally. “I had family and friends helping me with my twins (Austin and Hope). I had to grow my creativity, flexibility, problem-solving and analytical thinking, as well as my business skills in order to positively drive initiatives that had an impact across IBM. Now I’m aligning teams to streamline our organization for faster, smarter decision making, and speed to value. It’s super exciting!”

In 2019 Joanne received the Stevie Award as “Female Executive of the Year” in the Business Services category, in recognition of her focus on innovation, new ways of working, skills and employee development, and the efforts taken to create a safe and enjoyable work environment for our employees.

“Winning the award really reflects the passion, dedication and hard work of my amazing team. Their efforts made our organization more agile, progressed our use of cognitive solutions and allowed us to foster a culture where we pride ourselves on our diverse, inclusive and engaged employees. As a leader, I believe that diversity and inclusion are at the cornerstone of everything we do, and I am fully committed to continuing to build IBM’s inclusive culture.”

Along with her current role at IBM, Joanne is a member of IBM’s Acceleration Team, the Executive Sponsor of Global Women of IBM and a member of Women in Technology International. She is also an executive board member of Supply Chain Leaders in Action, serves on advisory board of University of Tennessee GSCI, and is one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen. Outside of work Joanne enjoys spending time with her 13-year-old twins in addition to pursuing her love for tennis, swimming, and cooking. She has become an active member of the Brookfield Parent Teacher Organization and Brookfield Soccer Team and serves on the board of the United Way of Westchester – Putnam.



About the Author: Patricia Felizetti works in IBMer Communications and is based out of the IBM offices in New York. She has been with IBM for 13 years. Originally from Brazil, Patricia is used to the sun and nice weather, a big change from the New York City winters she now experiences.

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