IBM has been named the world’s most LGBT-inclusive (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender) employer by Amsterdam-based Workplace Pride Foundation for the 3rd year in a row.
For decades, IBM has been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion because they believe that supporting all employees in the workplace is good for innovation and business.
“Being inclusive in the workplace has always been part of our culture and our values as IBMers,” says Bruno Di Leo, Senior Vice President, IBM Sales & Distribution and sponsor of the LGBT Council at IBM, this year’s Workplace Pride Global Benchmark top scorer.
As far back as 1953, IBM CEO T.J. Watson, Jr. famously declared, “It is the policy of this organization to hire people who have the personality, talent and background necessary to fill a given job, regardless of race, color or creed.” And more than 30 years ago, IBM was one of the first companies to include sexual orientation as part of its Equal Opportunity policy. The company extended domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian employees in the U.S. almost 20 years ago.
Over the years, IBM has built upon this policy and embedded it throughout its business activities around the world. Today the company supports LGBT efforts with local stakeholders, including many civil society representatives; in countries where being openly LGBT at work can still be quite a challenge. Coupled with specialized training, LGBT management support systems, an empowered LGBT executive council, LGBT self-disclosure mechanisms, an active and wide-ranging LGBT network (EAGLE) and a pro-active stance in those areas of the world still struggling with how to deal with this sensitive topic, IBM has continually shown its leadership to not only the corporate world, but also to governments and civil society.
“We are very proud to have been recognized by Workplace Pride,” said Di Leo. “However, we know that in the very dynamic world we live in, we must be vigilant. We work with all stakeholders to make sure that the path to progress is constant and genuine. Our vision remains: we want all of our employees to be able to be themselves at work, no matter what their background, their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”