Each woman nominated for a feature interview answers a few short questions about IBM and her career. Here’s what Rebecca has to say about working at IBM.
What made you decide to work for IBM?
I decided to work for two reasons; firstly I was attracted to the IBM brand and what it represented. I wanted to be part of a progressive and dynamic company and IBM has continued to lead and be recognized as amongst the best companies to work for. The second reason I wanted the opportunity to develop my IT and Leadership skills, IBM offer its employees access to education and skills development programs. The company itself is a global network which is full of talented people with years of experience that are willing and ready to share their knowledge and expertise.
What advice would you give to our new IBMers?
When I first joined IBM in 2006, I quickly set up a professional network for support and also to help me navigate around the company’s complex matrix system. I had weekly sessions with an experienced employee who selflessly, provided me with guidance during my first 60 days; I can assure you this helped make it a smoother transition for me within IBM. Thanks Flavia McLane !
It is also critical for a new employee to build a strong relationship of trust with your manager because he or she is instrumental in facilitating your career advancement within the company. IBM has an excellent new hire learning program, tailored to meet new employees’ specific needs. The goal is to help those recently hired to understand the company, feel a sense of belonging and become productive as quickly as possible. And lastly be a contributor, be it in a team meeting or a project be sure to contribute with the intent of driving business results. All IBMers make personal commitments to the business on how they will contribute to their teams’ and company’s’ success. If you do that you will be recognized for the right reasons and the opportunities will follow.
Has IBM provided you with any unique work-life integration solutions?
As a working mother of 3 young, energetic boys, I could have put my career on hold or on slow motion because of the demanding role of parenting. However I actually found that the company gave me a fair chance at opportunities for growing my career. I made sure that I set up the right support systems at home and at work in order to help me succeed. Something that sets IBM apart is the degree to which the company has built flexibility into its workforce practices. Our work tools have profoundly changed how work gets done, which means that all the traditional assumptions about workplace and contribution have had to be rethought.
From telecommuting , working at home, to individual work schedules. Here, we focus on results, not on activity or face time. Ideally, what the employee does is important — not where he or she does it. Or how many hours it takes.
Formal IBM flexibility options are available to assist employees in balancing their responsibilities to work, family, education, and other personal needs. These options vary by geography, based at times on a country’s legal environment and type of job role.
- Mobile environments allow employees to spend a majority of their time away from the office by providing tools to be used at any location, be it a customer office, airport, home, or at an IBM facility.
- Work-At-Home provides a way for employees on a regular schedule to do the major portion of their work at home. The employee using this option does not have a dedicated desk or office in any IBM facility.
What makes you proud to be an IBMer?
I am proud to be an IBMer because I work for a global company which is being led by a female CEO. By the way back in 1943, IBM appointed its first female vice president. In 1899, IBM Hired women before women were given a right to vote. I strongly believe in having a purpose driven career and IBMers have the opportunity to change the way the world works, by changing the systems and processes that help the world.
IBM corporate philanthropy spans the globe with diverse and sustained giving programs that support initiatives in education, workforce development, the arts, and the environment. Our commitment to the community requires that we go beyond simple checkbook philanthropy. In our efforts, we underscore the role of technology as a tool to address societal issues and demonstrate IBM’s reputation as a solutions provider.
IBM’s On Demand Community, a worldwide initiative, is a revolutionary approach to corporate philanthropy. IBM has created a new model for helping employees improve the communities where we live and work. More than simply a volunteering initiative, On Demand Community is a tightly focused and coordinated effort intended to help IBM volunteers provide Web-based solutions and assistance to their communities. IBM has a strong history of and commitment to improving schools. We believe that no company can succeed in an unsuccessful community, and no community can be successful without an educated population.
During IBM’s Centennial celebration ,together with other IBMers, my team and I volunteered and partnered with Habitat for Humanity and helped build homes for families in one of our communities in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am proud to be an IBMer!
How has working in a global society impacted your career?
Working in a global society has had a huge impact on my career. IBM is a high performance culture and hires great talent, and to work in such an environment has forced me to challenge myself every day. I find that because my passion is in leadership and working with teams I am able to thrive even when the roles are sometimes demanding. I have been able to build a large professional and personal network compared to if I was not exposed to a global society. I know I can reach out to my community for advice or assistance on a project, and I can also refer others to my global network. One other benefit which I have experienced is that I am able to take advantage of the learning opportunities available from IBM’s global learning programs, as a result I am able to develop my skills and area of expertise. I love traveling , and with IBM I have been able to advance my career by learning during my international travels attending conferences and projects , with the company to counties like Singapore, Norway and The Netherlands.
This post originally published on Women at IBM page on Facebook.
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