A new symbol of IBM’s long standing commitment to diversity and inclusion was announced on January 2017 as we transformed our iconic 8-bar logo to one inspired by the late activist Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag.
The task of creating the rainbow logo was assigned to IBM’s Brand Strategy and Experience Design team led by Teresa Yoo. Todd Simmons on her team led the project and specializes in design strategy, corporate identity, and art direction. You can hear his reflections on the evolution of this project and the background of the design in the video below.
In Todd’s words: “This isn’t just about LGBT rights. It’s about their supporters, our support of them, and our support of anyone else who doesn’t have a flag. That’s something we can all be proud of.”
Diversity and inclusion steeped in history
IBM’s first Equal Opportunity policy was written in 1953, when 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.”
We were one of the first companies to include sexual orientation as part of the policy more than 30 years ago. We extended domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian employees in the U.S. almost 20 years ago.
Today, we provide LGBT+ employees with the professional and family support they need around the world. IBM’s LGBT+ benefits extend beyond local practices in many countries. Other recent actions include:
- IBM offers Gender Affirmation Treatment benefits in the U.S., Canada, and India to reaffirm assistance in support of our transgender community.
- Extended benefits are offered in 54 countries to same-gender domestic partners or spouses. In the last 18 months, we announced these benefits in 11 new countries, including the Philippines, Japan, Colombia, India, Greece, and Singapore.
- IBM launched a suite of internal education modules around LGBT+ and Ally topics – encouraging our workforce to stand proud together.
IBM’s dedication to equality and diversity – including the diversity of thought – has always led our company’s values. We will continue to stand firm, grow a shared corporate culture together and are proud to represent the LGBT+ community and all of our constituencies.
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