“IBM thinks about diversity the way we think about innovation–both are essential to the success of our business. When we innovate, technology becomes smarter for clients and creates new opportunities for growth. When we incorporate diversity into our business, we create better innovations and out-comes.” – Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM
Throughout its 100+ years as a leading technology company, IBM has been a pioneer in supporting inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Long before the civil rights movement and the passage of non-discrimination legislation, IBM hired women, African-Americans and people with disabilities, and also established a corporate-wide “equal pay for equal work” policy.
IBM’s particular interest in accessibility and disability inclusion began with the Watsons—and it was personal. Thomas J. Watson, Sr. was a great believer in helping all IBMers achieve their full potential, just as people had helped him in his early years.
The company hired its first disabled person in 1914, the year Watson joined—and a full 76 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act. Today, we continue the legacy of diversity that IBM was built on by regularly revisiting, refining and expanding our inclusive practices.
At IBM, we are committed to creating a work environment where we eliminate barriers to success and help all employees contribute to both clients and the company at the highest level of their abilities.
We believe that an inclusive workplace leads to greater innovation, agility, performance and engagement and enables both greater business growth and societal impact and are proud to recognizing the unique value and skills every individual brings to the workplace. We know that IBM is better when we are inclusive of people with a wide range of diverse abilities, identities and backgrounds.
To achieve this, we:
- Leverage our Global People with Diverse Abilities Council led by one of IBM’s Senior Vice Presidents and supported by committed executives as well as our 28 global Employees Resource Groups of employees with diverse abilities and their allies worldwide. These groups and our HR teams are committed to fostering a work environment in which all employees, including those with diverse talents and abilities, can bring their full selves to work and reach their full potential.
- Continue to create more personalized interactions to optimize contributions and promote the value that those with disabilities bring to enhance IBM’s business and reputation.
- Continue to expand channels and opportunities for valuable neurodiverse talent to enter the IBM workforce globally.