IBM has long recognized that valuing a culture of diversity and inclusiveness is essential to how we attract and retain the best talent. In today's competitive global marketplace, we can't stand idle if we want our business to grow.
"IBM's employees represent a talented and diverse workforce. Achieving the full potential of this diversity is a business priority that is fundamental to our competitive success. Business activities such as hiring, training, compensation, promotions, transfers, terminations, and IBM-sponsored social and recreational activities are conducted without discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or age. Effective management of our workforce diversity policy is an important strategic objective. Every IBM manager is expected to abide by this policy and uphold the company's commitment to workforce diversity."
Sam Palmisano in Global Policy Statement on Diversity
IBM's policy of Diversity and Inclusion means to include everyone and exclude no one, and to create a safe environment where each of us can be valued for the characteristics that make us unique as individuals. To ensure that people can contribute at the highest possible level, IBM insists on a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment and full of opportunity for all people. Supporting this strategy, Hungary has established its Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) diversity network group (EAGLE).
Today this is the largest GLBT group in the CEEMEA region.
EAGLE is an acronym for Employee Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender Empowerment. In a business context, IBM diversity is approached as a strategy for improving employee retention and increasing consumer confidence. At IBM we believe that diversity is critical to business strategy, and will improve competitiveness and prospects for long-term success.
“The employees of IBM represent a talented and diverse workforce. Achieving the full potential of this diversity is a business priority that is fundamental to our competitive success. Business activities such as hiring, promotion, and compensation of employees, are conducted without regard to gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation.” (IBM corporate policy letter No. 117)
IBM at Budapest GLBT parade
Women in IBM
The 2007 Working Mother Best Companies for Multicultural Women list is out and IBM is among the leaders. The magazine cites IBM among its Top Five companies for "innovative programs that benefit women of color professionally and personally."
Women are vital to IBM's innovation strategy
IBM has long understood that innovation is the only way to sustain competitive advantage in a world of relentless change and rising global competition. While countless companies proclaim their technologies, products, services - and themselves - "innovative," few are in the business of helping other companies innovate. This is what we do at IBM - better than anyone else. We position ourselves as the innovation partner - the company most capable of helping clients create value and competitive advantage through innovation.
And at IBM, women are vital to our innovations strategy. Not only have the women with technical roles such as these female innovators that invent new products and services and help our customers implemented innovative technologies and business processes. But also the thousands of female executives, managers and employees that contribute to IBM's transformation into a premier innovation company and enable our clients to innovate as well.
Clearly, innovation is much more than invention. The goal is not just to create more innovative products, but to undertake a more fundamental change, to transform the company itself. For businesses to thrive in today's fast paced globally economy they must become collaborative, adaptive and versatile enterprises.
As Sandy Carter, Vice President of SOA and Websphere strategy, stated in an article on "Women in IT" :'Women are good at accepting and creating change, which is important in the marketplace'.
As drivers of innovation and valued contributors to our company and clients business success, IBM is keen to attract, retain and promote more women. Over the past few years, the company stepped up its efforts to make women aware of the attractive job opportunities the company offers across Northeast and Southwest Europe.
In 2006, the EMEA Women's Leadership Council therefore focused primarily on the advancement and development of women inside IBM. This was done through personal development initiatives such as "Taking the Stage", an education module through which over 4000 women learned how to enhance their profile and be successful while "on stage". Another important program, "Blue Talent" was started in May to assist top talent women in making the next career step. Furthermore, 9 EXITE Camps (Exploring Interest in Technology and Engineering) were held to help attract more than 200 girls to math, science and IT.
Cultural diversity in IBM Europe
"I came to see, in my decade at IBM, that culture isn't just one aspect of the game -- it is the game."
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
IBM Europe operates across nine time zones in 125 countries, where more than 70 languages are spoken and four different religious calendars are used. This diversity is one of our greatest strengths - especially when we leverage it effectively, bringing the best talent and ideas together to solve our clients' problems.
In such a diverse region, cultural diversity covers the following areas:
There is no one in IBM Europe who is not concerned by cultural diversity.
Working across cultures means communicating and working effectively with colleagues and clients from different cultural backgrounds. This area, focused on the challenges of cross-cultural communication and co-operation, covers national as well as individual differences in values, ways of thinking, communication styles and the use of language.
Ethnic diversity is about reflecting the ethnic composition of the marketplace and acting proactively for the integration and advancement of people of ethnic origin in society and in the workforce.
Why is cultural diversity important in Europe?
"Successful multicultural teams are those which have found ways of integrating the contribution of their members, and have learned to find solutions which add value due to their diversity not in spite of it. They have also learned to have fun, to experience the discovery of cultural differences as opportunities for surprise, learning, and shared laughter."
Susan Schneider, Jean-Luis Barsoux (1997) "Managing Across Cultures", Prentice Hall Europe
IBMers at all levels connect and work with colleagues across the company. Cross functional teaming is paramount to delivering to the marketplace with teams forming around specific projects and client requirements and disbanding when objectives are met. Employees can expect to work with colleagues outside their immediate organizational structure, country and culture whenever their expertise is required to solve a problem or deliver on a customer obligation. As a result, people belonging to cultures which may collide in society need to be able to work together. This is inherent to our third value: Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships.
Our clients are also becoming more global and are turning to us to support their business transformation and Information Technology needs. Clearly, we are able to better service and satisfy our clients when we bring together talented teams of individuals with diverse skills and experiences. Consider how this works from the additional perspective of cultural diversity: By having multinational teams work on international projects, we create strong local relationships and better match client expectations with an understanding of the local business culture. We can even better understand how they define success - in their local language.
PwD - People with Disabilities
IBM has a history of taking positive, progressive action on behalf of PwD - whether the PwD are employees, clients or neighbors. And these actions have had a ripple effect - helping others worldwide grasp the value of inclusion.
IBM envisions a world where everyone, regardless of ability or disability, can live and work freely within their environment - starting with our own business and marketplace. Since hiring its first employee with a disability in 1914, IBM has always focused on the talents a person brings to the job. And that's why, for nearly century, IBM has aggressively sought out qualified People with Disabilities through trade journals, extensive university contacts.
Disabled people are people with equal rights. Disabled people are workers, consumers, tax payers, politicians, students, neighbors, family and friends. But disabled people are not always treated that way. A recent European survey shows there is a serious lack of understanding of what disability means and how many people it affects.
People with disabilities are demanding what we all want: equal opportunities and access to all societal resources. And of course access to employment is crucial. The employment of people with disabilities presents us with many opportunities at IBM, not only to access a valuable employee resource, but also to rethink and revitalize the way we execute, both within IBM and the marketplace. Reaching out to people with disabilities is not only the right thing to do to increase our diversity - it also broadens business opportunities for our company. It sparks innovation and helps us have a better understanding of our customers and creates an inclusive work environment for all our employees.
Above all we must avoid making premature conclusions based on impairments but instead value people for their abilities and talents.
"See A Person's Ability Not the Disability"
In Budapest we are engaged with a local foundation because our common goal is to find the best fitting between the jobs and people - putting inot focus what are their abilities instead of diasibilities.
Within our Service Centre there is a possibility for home working and it provides wider opportunities for people with disabilites. PwD candidates are welcome in each of our Centres, but on HR Centre we have severaly possibilities - feel free to contact us to discuss your possibilities!