Pride – Proud – Progress: More than Just a Month-Long Celebration

While IBM celebrates Pride during the month of June, our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends well beyond a 30-day celebration of progress for the LGBT+ community. Our campaign of more than just a month. Pride – Proud – Progress, reinforces the need for global LGBT+ IBMers and our allies to be actively engaged 365 days of the year if we expect to maintain a culture of belonging, trust, and authenticity.  Around the world IBMers marched in their communities as a symbol of unity, equality, and advocacy.

Hear stories from IBMers who celebrate the strength of the LGBT+ community through Pride marches.

“As I marched, I couldn’t help but notice the crowd’s amazement when they saw the IBM brand represented with the unique 8-bar rainbow logo. Their faces lit up as they saw the IBM brand. I even heard someone shout “Watson”” – Christopher Thomas Tan, Learning Operations Specialist with IBM and an organizer of the NYC Pride March 2017.

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IBMers at the NYC Pride March 2017

“We have been participating in the Pride parade in Japan for five years and back then, there were no attendees from other companies except IBM.  IBM has been leading the participation since. Now we have 125 companies with 100,000 visitors and 5,000 parade participants. I always ask LGBT+ IBMers to walk with us at the parade. We walked at the center of Main Street in Tokyo with a bunch of cheers. We are no longer minorities” – Atsushi Kawada, Manager of Transformation and Operations, participated in Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017.

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Tokyo Rainbow Pride experience for IBMers

“Very few companies in India participate in Pride parades but I’m proud to say that the EAGLE India team has been participating at the Bangalore pride for many years now. We’ve now also become regulars at Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad prides. I see a lot of pride-walkers look at IBMers in awe, aspiring to work at IBM where they can be their authentic selves. For me personally, I found the strength to walk my first Pride in 2013, only because of the support of my fellow out IBMers. Wearing the IBM t-shirt at the Pride march made me feel that there’s an entire company behind me, looking out for me, and that gave me immense courage to walk my first pride without a mask!” – Ritesh Rajani, Out Role Model and HR Diversity Engagement Partner, IBM India

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IBMers at Chennai Pride 2017

“I was very excited and proud to participate at the Pride Parade. When I walked with my colleagues I felt empowered, holding the banner, waving the flag, and using the megaphone. I noticed the crowd looking at IBM’s diverse group of people and could identify with us – they cheered and chanted along with us.”  – Teresa Rojas, IBM Training and Skills Partner Relationship Manager / BRG EAGLE Mexico Leader, participant of the Mexico City Pride Parade 2017

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IBMers during the Mexico city Pride Parade 2017

“This year’s march has been one of the most exciting and exhilarating! Apart from us sporting the new IBM Rainbow logo through our shirts and banners, we have marched and bonded with allies and LGBT+ alike. Our allies now have better understanding of why we march and what we, as a company, stand for.” – Stephanie Galera, HR Senior Talent Programs and Engagement Partner, participant of the Marikina City, Philippines March 2017.

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IBMers during the Metro Manila Pride Parade

“For the first time in many years, a lot of allies marched with us in the Metro Manila Pride Parade. It was a proud moment to be marching, holding and wearing the IBM Rainbow Logo alongside our allies. After the parade, a program was facilitated by the pride organizers which had a sign language interpreter for all speeches, even the songs! It was a day of inclusion for all.” – Jeiz Robles, HR Program Manager, LGBT+ Business Resource Group Leader, Out Role Model.

“Pride in London is a highlight of the year for celebrating diversity and inclusivity – being part of the over 26,000 participants and marching past well over 1 million onlookers is highly inspiring and I am grateful to have been part of it again. We had a great mix of IBMers, family and friends – all dressed up with the brand new rainbow logo, which made us stand out from the crowd, gathered a lot of positive reaction and even showed up on a internet celebrities’ snapchat! ” – Benjamin Hempel, Senior IoT Consultant with IBM GBS UK and Principal Organiser of IBM’s Pride in London Parade Participation.

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IBM UK Eagle group members during the UK Pride March

Follow our campaign #InclusiveIBM to learn more about diversity and inclusion at IBM and read other cool stories about the richness of diversity at IBM.

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