Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity of people.
Diversity of thought.
A smarter planet for everyone.


IBM employees working on System/360, 1964
IBM employees working on System/360, 1964.

PanAm employees
PanAm employees. 1962.

Nicholas Katzenbach faces down Alabama Governor George Wallace
Nicholas Katzenbach faces Governor George Wallace. 1963.

IBM ad runs in Ebony magazine
IBM recruits Black employees through nine ads in Ebony magazine. 1963.

The Mandelbrot Set
The Mandelbrot Set. 1967.

George Carter with Sargent Shriver
George Carter with Sargent Shriver. 1968.

The Braille typewriter
The Braille typewriter. 1968.

Schwartzkopf on Computerworld magazine cover, 1971
Schwartzkopf on Computerworld magazine cover. 1971.

Inner City Initiatives

In a period of social upheaval, IBM launches inner city initiatives throughout the country and deepens its commitment to real diversity.


Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invites Thomas J. Watson Jr. to participate in President Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women.

IBM moves its research headquarters from Manhattan to Westchester County, New York. The Thomas J. Watson Research Center now has laboratories in Yorktown Heights and nearby Hawthorne.


IBM is one of the first companies to join President Kennedy's Plans for Progress program, which promotes equal employment opportunity.

Two IBM 7090 mainframes form the backbone of the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines. As the first airline reservation system to work live over phone lines, SABRE links high-speed computers and data communications to handle seat inventory and passenger records from terminals in more than 50 cities.


IBM joins the National Urban League (NUL) to launch on - the - job training for unemployed Black people. NUL President Whitney Young calls IBM's efforts "a classic example of a company accepting its social responsibility".

IBM launches the Negro College Summer Hire Program, which brings Black faculty members to work at IBM and sends IBM staff to teach at their colleges.

Nicholas Katzenbach, deputy attorney general under President Kennedy, faces down Alabama Governor George Wallace, who attempts to prevent University of Alabama's integration. IBM hires Katzenbach as general counsel in 1969.


IBM introduces the first automated Braille printing system at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), the largest and oldest Braille publisher in the U.S.

The world of computing is forever changed when IBM debuts the first compatible family of computers in which software and peripherals work seamlessly. When introduced, the System/360™ offers customers five processors and a variety of configurations for power, speed and memory.


IBM supports Rodman Job Corps Center, an Office of Economic Opportunity project in New Bedford, Massachusetts, which trains 1,200 unemployed youth on, among other things, the IBM 1401 Computer.


Benefits offering enriched to include Special Care for Children.

Surgical Plan added to IBM's Benefit Plan.

Scientist Robert Dennard at IBM invents one-transistor dynamic random access memory (RAM; now known as DRAM), which permits major increases in memory density. In 1988 President Reagan presents Dennard with the National Medal of Technology. A decade later, DRAM chips based on Dennard's invention still reign as the dominant form of computer memory.


Benoit Mandelbrot, scientist at IBM Research, publishes a paper in Science introducing fractal geometry: the concept that seemingly irregular natural shapes, such as the branching of trees, have the same form when viewed from close up or from far away. "The Mandelbrot Set," a fractal object discovered in 1980, has been described as the most complex(and possibly the most beautiful)object ever seen in mathematics. In the 30 years since they were first identified, the study of fractals has brought new insight to a wide variety of fields, including mathematics, physics, earth sciences, economics and the arts.


The Bedford - Stuyvesant plant in Brooklyn, which is opened by IBM at Senator Robert Kennedy's urging, hires local craftspeople to renovate warehouse and trains locals to be employees. Over the next decade, the plant grows from eight to 400 people who produce advanced electronic units. In 1993 the plant is purchased by its workers and named Advanced Technology Solutions.

IBM creates a Corporate Equal Opportunity Department, headed by George Carter.

Bank of America, IBM and the National Urban League open a Computer Training Center in Los Angeles's Watts area. IBM donates equipment, Bank of America provides space and the National Urban League recruits and trains students. The center enrolls more than 1,300 unemployed and unskilled people. IBM later opens similar centers in New York City's Harlem (1972), Atlanta (1975), Chicago and Dallas (1977), and 11 more job-training centers nationwide (1982).

IBM is the first company to support the National Urban League's street academy in New York City's Harlem.

Management seminars are provided by IBM to organizations such as Opportunities Industrialization Centers, New York and National Urban Coalitions, Navajo Nation and Tigua Indians, ASPIRA and League United Latin American Citizens.

IBM joins the National Alliance of Businessmen and agrees to recruit, train and hire 900 people over three years.

IBM Minority Supplier Program contracts minority- and women - owned businesses. In 1999 alone 7.9 percent of the company's U.S. purchase base, or $973.4 million, benefits diverse suppliers. Westchester Residential Opportunities, a nonprofit agency helping minorities to find quality homes and respond to discrimination in Westchester County, New York, receives IBM's support.

The Braille typewriter is the first powered machine for Braille writing, as well as the first to emboss a complete Braille "cell" at the touch of a single key.


IBM employee David Schwartzkopf receives a grant to design a Braille print capability for IBM System/3 computers.

Ed Buhl, IBM managing attorney, and Namon Lewis Jr., IBM senior staff assistant, San Jose Personnel, are part of the team that helps draft the nation's first Affirmative Action guidelines. With other Labor Policy Association (LPA) members, including General Motors and Westinghouse, IBM rewrites the government's first draft, which failed to reflect the business environment. The Labor Department accepts and implements the LPA revision.

"We serve our interests best when we serve the public interest."

Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM Management Briefing, 1969.