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Embracing diversity

"In one of several meetings I had with Tom Watson, Jr., I asked him why he wrote what many believe is the first equal opportunity policy letter in 1953. He said that during negotiations with two Southern governors over new IBM facilities in their states, he made it clear there would be no 'separate but equal' racial policies at IBM. To make sure they knew he was serious, he wrote the letter to his management team and then made it public. That's the legacy that we're living, and extending, today."

- Ted Childs, Vice President, Global Workforce Diversity.

We strive to create and foster an environment where our people feel comfortable and are able to perform at their best. Selection, training, development and promotions are based solely on individual merit, skills, qualifications, abilities and aptitude.

Inclusion has been an integral part of the IBM corporate culture for more than 80 years. We recognise the need to capitalise on the skills and talents of all segments of our workforce and our policies encourage, develop and support this. For example, we have a proactive program to recruit, employ and integrate People with Disabilities into the workforce.

Our diversity-related awards span the globe and cover mature adults, people with disabilities and women-friendly work practices, just to name a few. Here's a small sampling of recent awards:

United States





Hong Kong


IBM Diversity Policy

"It is the policy of this organisation to hire people who have the personality, talent and background necessary to fill a given job, regardless of race, colour or creed."

- Thomas J Watson Jr., 1953

Here are some highlights of our multi-pronged diversity policy: