Employee inclusion

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Diversity is an essential component of our corporate values and is tightly integrated into our business strategy. Our leaders strive to continually manage employees in line with our values and beliefs to enable them to develop their full potential and to move beyond inclusion to a world of engagement. But we don’t stop there — we also endeavor to engage governments, communities and other corporations in our efforts.

In 2015, IBM continued to demonstrate leadership in its support of constituent groups. Below are some examples.


LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) workplace equality

IBM has a long history with LGBT workplace equality. As early as 1984, we included sexual orientation in our nondiscrimination policy. In 1995, we established an LGBT executive task force that today is known as the Global LGBT Council and is focused on making IBM a safe and desirable workplace for all people.

In 2015 IBM was named, for the second year in a row, the world’s most LGBT-inclusive company by Workplace Pride, based in Amsterdam. This announcement was the result of the foundation’s Global Benchmark survey that scored large international employers for their LGBT workplace inclusion policies and practices around the world.

In addition, for the 13th consecutive year, IBM scored 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, the national benchmarking tool for corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees. The index, released each autumn, provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees, such as equal-employment opportunity policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, employment benefits for all benefits-eligible U.S. employees, and ongoing LGBT-specific engagements that extend across the company.

IBM is also one of eight “star performers” in Stonewall’s Global Equality Index 2015.


Advancement of women

More than 23 percent of IBM’s global executive population is made up of women. About two-thirds of IBM’s women executives across the world are working mothers, demonstrating that women can pursue a career and motherhood at our company.

IBM was recognized by Working Mother Media as one of the Top 10 Companies on both its 2015 100 Best Companies for the 30th consecutive year and Best Companies for Multicultural Women lists. In addition, the National Association of Female Executives recognized IBM among the top 10 of its Top 50 Companies for Executive Women, and DiversityInc named IBM number one on its Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity.

As part of IBM’s ongoing commitment to advancing women in the workplace, we invest in programs like Building Relationships and Influence for Women, designed for high-potential women leaders with experiential and action-centered learning to help participants develop skills in building, developing and maintaining business relationships and influence. Additionally, we offer “Creating Your Leadership Journey” for mid-level career women. The content for both of these courses is based on the three themes that emerged from our Advancing Women at IBM study:

  1. Be visible
  2. Plan your career
  3. Integrate work and life

Our continued focus on building IBM’s technical women leaders prompted a social media campaign called Technologistas that showcases many of IBM’s talented innovators as role models in the industry.

We also work to build the pipeline of women in the technical industry by supporting and partnering with external programs dedicated to inspire, educate and connect women to excel in technology careers.


People with disabilities

The skills and capabilities of the workforce must keep pace with a constantly evolving world as the competition for talent intensifies. Including people with different abilities in IBM’s workforce is based on sound business judgment and anchored in IBM principles and HR strategy.

IBM’s recruiting teams play an essential role in identifying and interviewing skilled people with disabilities. Through a training module and a recruitment guide, IBM helps recruiters understand how to effectively provide reasonable accommodations when recruiting people with different abilities and to know what support is available within IBM for employing people with disabilities. In 2015, we developed a new, contemporary hiring brochure that focused on people’s talents.


Work-life flexibility

IBM is committed to creating a supportive, flexible work environment that provides principles, guidelines and workforce options to help our employees effectively manage their work and family responsibilities. In fact, that understanding is a cornerstone of our employment value proposition; we know that IBMers need time to cultivate personal interests and integrate the demands of the job with the demands of their personal lives.

In 2015, IBM introduced new programs to further our commitment to work-life integration, including:

  • Access to breast milk delivery for women on business travel
  • Increased paid time off for parental leave in the United States

Business Resource Groups

As we refine our employment and leadership practices to continuously attract and develop global thought leaders, it is imperative that our diversity strategy enables us to meet the company’s business objectives and talent requirements. IBM’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs) tie directly into our diversity strategy and voluntarily bring together talented groups of diverse IBM professionals with the ultimate goal of enhancing the success of IBM’s business objectives by helping members succeed in the workplace. As part of their charter, BRGs align their programs and initiatives with at least one of four IBM business and talent workstreams: recruitment and hiring, talent development, employee retention and market development.

IBM has more than 250 BRG chapters registered in 45 countries supporting 13 constituencies or focus areas:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Cross-cultural
  • Cross-generational
  • Hispanics
  • LGBT
  • Men
  • Native Americans
  • New hires
  • People with disabilities
  • Veterans
  • Women
  • Work-life integration

Diversity and inclusion education

IBM continues to invest in education and development programs for diverse talent. The award-winning Building Relationships and Influence (BRI) program now has over 3,000 women in its alumni network. In addition, in 2015 we rolled out workshops focused on unconscious bias to help educate our employees on the way bias can impact business decisions and impede inclusion. IBM has also integrated unconscious bias awareness into our leadership offerings and new-hire education. We appreciate the differences in our employees because we know that these differences help to drive innovation.