Taking Action to Advance Women in Business

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Today, IBM was honored with the prestigious 2018 Catalyst Award for leadership in building a workplace that values diversity and inclusion. IBM is the only tech company honored this year — and the only company anywhere recognized for a fourth time.

Very few companies have done more to advance diversity and inclusion than IBM. It is one of the reasons my colleagues and I are proud every day to say we are IBMers.

And yet, IBM’s legacy of leadership – and receiving this award –challenges us to do more.

I believe this is a critical moment for women in business. The demand for gender parity is stronger now than ever before. Women are more ready than ever to lead. Last year was quite literally a catalyst for spotlighting issues women have faced in the workplace for decades.

#MeToo, women’s marches, and more prompted women to be transparent about their experiences. Social media and the news put a spotlight on the realities of harassment. And people of all races and genders evaluated and discussed their own behavior, their own biases, and the environment they create for each other in the office every day.

Now that we’ve turned the page to 2018, we – the global business community across every industry – need to make this a breakthrough year in advancing diversity and women in particular. We need to move from discussion to action to advance inclusion. What would this look like?

  1. We create workplace cultures that embrace authenticity and bringing our “whole selves” to the office…cultures of empathy and compassion that make all people confident to be fully authentic in their daily work.
  2. We invest in early intervention programs that keep women from exiting the workplace at mid-career and middle management positions because they are challenged to balance family and work or hesitant to ask for support.
  3. We build out our pipeline of talent, each and every one of us, to increase materially the percentage of women in management, technical and executive ranks.
  4. We challenge our unconscious bias and together, call out behaviors, activities, conversations and rhetoric that might make some uncomfortable.
  5. We share this mission as men and women so we celebrate not just the women who achieve, but also the men that create the environment to let women step up and succeed.

IBM is hard at work in advancing initiatives like these. And we are inspired by forward-thinking companies around the world who are also taking bold steps every day – current and past Catalyst winners like 3M, Nationwide, BMO Financial Group, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Automation and Gap Inc. And we know there is more we can all do.

As the CMO of IBM and the sponsor of our company’s global women’s initiatives, I’m optimistic about how the global community of professionals and business leaders across industries can work together to drive real change and ensure we don’t waste this moment.

Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, IBM

Maria Elena Guerra

Congratulations! What a pleasant news

Eliane M. Regina

Very proud to be an IBMer!

Ana Paula da Cunha

Proud to be an IBMer

Vicky Tierney

Michelle I have no doubt that with you at the helm as the sponsor of our global women’s initiatives that you have and will continue to help advance the cause on multiple levels. Thanks for your leadership, commitment and voice.

Abir Abi Ali

Proud to be an IBMer in this great time and age ..

Pallavi Ahluwalia

So proud to be working for a company which not only acknowledges the value of diversity and inclusion but is actively working to challenge the many issues listed in the blog and more. I hope IBMers at all levels take the same mindset to work with them and then we will be so much closer to a more equal workplace environment for all.

Frank Cuevas

Thrilled for the recognition from Catalyst, but seeing this women focus, inclusive culture play out day to day at IBM is what is really inspiring! #THINKProud

Laxmi Ambiger

Congratulations !! Proud to be associated with IBM.

Doris Conti

Proud to be an IBMer!

Arpita Srivastava


Aparna Bhosle

Congratulations to Team IBM!! I am proud to be an IBMer too.

This is the right initiative for Women coming for diverse backgrounds, especially for those women who put a lot at stake day in & day out to be at work, give their best at work thereby making a meaningful contribution to their own lives directly & in return to the society at large.

Look forward to hearing more on this topic and initiatives IBM would bring in to help support Women advancement at work.

Jessica Murillo

I am very proud of IBM being recognized with this award. It is a great reminder on the part individuals and corporations can play in changing societal norms.

Ellen Pace

Very inspiring, but ask that we don’t perpetuate the myth that women leave the workforce due to balance. We leave for workplace related issues. Family balance is a convenient excuse to avoid addressing the real issues facing women in the workplace.

Rhonda Tullis

Thank you! Would we consider adding language to #3 to include women of color?

Sonal Kirtikar

So proud of IBM’s achievement! t truly supports women who want to have a career and also balance it with a happy and healthy personal life. IBM truly is a company which provides an environment where women have equal opportunity to any leadership roles.

Wesley Mantle

I am proud of IBM’s achievement in this important area. With two daughters of my own, I hope they will be interested some day in a career with IBM.

Lynne D

The support I have received from the women leaders around this company has been fantastic. Pulling each other up and over is part of the journey and proud to be an IBMer


I can still remember the days when the desire to be a female, technical leader meant mastering how to cloak your Authentic and Vulnerable self, to demonstrate that you were Tough and just like a man. How liberating to now live during a time when those pressures and biases are being lifted for both Male and Female employees in our company!

Michael D.

In the war for talent, inclusion will continue to be a key differentiator in making IBM a great place to enjoy a career. Having a woman’s perspective and more generally, a diverse perspective, improves our ability to relate to our customer’s vast array of issues. #IBM


Fantastic news Michelle – fully agree this is a platform from which to take the lead in doing so much more!


Congratulations! Transparency and equality must drive this 5 actions plan. Keep going with the good work that makes each IBMer proud of her/ his company.


Congratulations!Exactly INCLUSION.


Thank you! Let diversity be the word of 2018.


Proud to be an IBMer. I commit to do my part.


Its’ really motivating.

Dina Bingham


Suzanne Browne

Will keep spreading the word! “Only Tech company recognized and only company recognized for a fourth time”…. and proud to be at IBM where we recognize there is more we can do!

Janine Sneed

So special! Thank you to the women and men fighting the good fight for women to be heard and have leadership roles in the enterprise. I am standing on the shoulder of giants who paved the way. I see inclusion more now at IBM than I ever have in the past. I commit to doing my part for brining greater diversity within teams and in leadership roles.#proudtobeanibmer

Laura Kempf

Awesome news!

Sharon O'Shaughnessy

Well deserved recognition from Catalyst and something to be proud of. This type of success does not come overnight and is the result of countless individuals, both women and men, who have worked tirelessly to make IBM an inclusive place to work for everyone. This is a great time to celebrate and continue our work at IBM and in our communities around the world. Bravo.

Peter Grassi

It is wonderful to hear about the progress we continue to make with inclusion and diversity across our company and more importantly for the people of our company “IBMers everywhere. It is a major reason as to why I am proud to be an IBMer. We must all commit to the 5 actions laid above, they are key to our future success.


What I wanna say is, yes, I’m really proud every day to say I am IBMer.

Debbie Chang

Glad that you are sharing the good news. Makes me proud to be a women at IBM for almost 30 years and encourage other women to jump into Tech.


Many many congratulations!!! It’s a great feeling to land in such a place wherein there is no gender bias!!! Please continue the great work !!! More and more female talent is lying unreaped and every measure will turn a new life for a person!!!

Patrice Wade

Excellent job!


Awesome news!
Kudos to the IBM leadership on this achievement
Looking forward to 2018- breakthrough year in women/diversity advancement

Veena Wankhede

Truely amazing and inspiring for all of us as IBM’ers. Its been more than 7 years I have been part of IBM but as the years are passing , I am getting more and more bonded towards the diversity, strategic vision and effective leadership that IBM has establish for women professionals


I have never felt this more now in IBM than I have in my 17 yr career here! Thank you Michelle for shining a light on encouraging woman not to be afraid of being authentic in the workplace. So glad I’m still here to be a part of this new era of change and advancement!

Margery Rothenberg

This is wonderful news. Thanks go to everyone at IBM but leadership should take the credit for setting the pace.

Minnie DuBois

Thanks for the great posting!

Joan Renner

Delighted to hear the news and proud to be an IBMer. I think being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.


Well done IBM!


GO IBM! Amazing work in this area. Thanks for the great post, Michelle.


Outstanding post! Very proud to be an IBMer and happy that I had returned to this company, after facing focus item #2 myself, when I left the company 20 years ago to care for my young son. I came back 9 years later to the company that most respected me as a professional woman. Love to be here!

Molly C Evans

One of the many reasons I work for IBM. TY


This blog post made me smile! I love the five focus areas. As a working mother, I have always felt that my management team “got it” when it came to the tricky balance for many of us in managing both our careers and our home life. It is great that IBM is continuing to look for more intervention programs so women don’t have to make a choice between staying in the workforce or not. Congrats!

Poonam Fandan

Congratulations !! Proud to be an IBMer !! Great post.


Wonderful news. Thanks for your leadership, Michelle. This makes me so proud, as an IBMer, to be a leader in among corporations as well as within our tech sector where we are coming out ahead.


Congratulations! Proud to be an IBMer!

Allison Lynch

Congratulations IBM! Great post Michelle.

Angelica Galve

What a great honor and reason of proud for all IBMers. As a woman executive, I have seen first hand that this is a great place for women to work and to achieve our potential in all the aspects of our lives. Thanks to Michelle and to all the great leaders who have worked and are working so hard and committed to keep IBM at the top!! Let us continue driving the change and leverage the momentum that we are living at world wide level.

Lisa Macyda

We are always ahead of the curve in doing the right thing, makes me so very proud to be a part of a forward thinking company that doesn’t do what everyone else does!

Jodi Cutler

What a great kick-off to the year. Michelle thank you for your continued sponsorship of women’s initiatives. You have an amazing community to pull from, I would like to recognize our stand out Laura Moore the great gatherer as the Global Program Manager for Women at IBM. She has done so much for our community. I am so proud to be at IBM at such a significant time.

Amy Merkle

So very well said…”let us not waste this moment”!

Bryan White

Congratulations! Proud to be an IBMer! IBM continues to set the new standard for Change!

Nick Campagna

Awesome Achievement for IBM! we must continue to forge ahead! Ginni talked about acceleration in 2018 and this must include our diversity and inclusion efforts!

Barbara Paessler

Congratulations. ! What an honor and achievement.. so proud to be part of this organization.

Kori Weber-Parker

This is absolutely incredible – so proud to be an IBMer.

Joanne Himmel


Maxine Nwaneri

Congratulations! What a wonderful achievement! Great initiatives too, how can we follow the progress of these?

Riyanshi agarwal

Proud to be an IBMer ! Extremely glad
please share more opportunity so every women will becom a important part.

Angela Kurien

Amazing and Proud to be an IBMer ! Extremely glad that I was a part of the Interview as well.


Congratulations 🙂 Proud to be an IBMer



Anita Aravind

Congratulations IBM for the prestigious 2018 Catalyst Award. Each of us are proud about this achievement and IBM is truly a pioneer in promoting diversity and Women Leadership at all levels.


Congratulations IBMers! Proud to be an IBMer.

Vicky Lin

Gender diversity is always the hot topic among corporations, especially to MNE companies,in addition to CSR. I am so happy and pround be the part of IBM. Surely will delicated myself to advocate the concept outward. Go IBM. Go IBM Women.

Barbara D. McManus

Congrats to IBM on the 2018 Catalyst Award! We need to be persistent in our efforts to create a pervasive culture of inclusion and authenticity. Thank you for specifying the actions. Go IBM!

lori nelson

So awesome!! Way to go IBM and congratulations on being a 2018 Catalyst Award winner.

Mikaela Moore

This is a significant recognition for IBM! Where would we go to find out more information about IBM’s specific initiatives for addressing each of the items you list in this blog? For example, how are we teaching IBMers about our unconscious bias or what type of early intervention programs exist within IBM?

Jayapreetha Natesan

Way to go IBM !! Proud to be an IBMer.

Danielle Avin


Suely Dantas

Wow! Congratulations for us! I’ve been working @ IBM for 25+ years and I continue to be proud and very happy to work here! Thanks for sharing!

Sascia Pastori

Reading this makes me even more proud to be an IBMer! Everyone can and should contribute to change our society. Thank you Michelle for sharing.

Georgina Puli

What an inspirational message! Thank you Michelle for your leadership in advancing diversity and creating the right environment for all to thrive.

Vicki Flaherty

Thank you for your passion, commitment and leadership, Michelle.

Maria Tereza Boor

I am proud to be an IBMer.

    krishna ghosh

    Excellent !!! Inspiring, Proud to be an IBMer

Comments are closed.

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