Diversity and Inclusion

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


Alfonso Arruiza
Alfonso Arruiza. 1970s.

IBM logo
IBM logo designed by Paul Rand. 1972.

Leo Esaki wins the Nobel Prize in physics
Leo Esaki wins the Nobel Prize in physics. 1973.

IBM 3340 disk unit
IBM 3340 disk unit. 1973.

IBM thin-client magnetic heads for reading data
IBM thin-client magnetic heads for reading data. 1979.

Diversity Deepens

As the mix of the workplace changes, IBM continues its efforts to make working with all people a reality.


Women join the IBM Executive Resources Program and IBM promotes its first female branch manager in Reno, Nevada. A year later, IBM expands Maternity Leave from six to eight weeks.

Scientist Ted Codd of IBM publishes a paper introducing the concept of relational databases. It calls for information stored within a computer to be arranged in easy - to - interpret tables so that nontechnical users can access and manage large amounts of data. Today, as we begin the new millennium, nearly all database structures are based on the IBM concept of relational databases.

The U.S. Office of Education and IBM fund a program to hire Latino students to tutor low-income students in the California university system. IBM supports the Consortium of Graduate Study in Management, which provides scholarships for minority students. IBM later is a first contributor to the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund (1976).

IBM launches Social Service Leaves, which provide employees with full pay while working in social service organizations. At the 1970 IBM stockholders meeting, Thomas J. Watson Jr. explains, "We want to find --and I am certain we will find-- new ways to use the power for good that is contained in business."


T. Vincent Learson becomes Chairman and CEO of IBM.

Engineering programs in predominantly Black universities receive grants from IBM. A year later, IBM launches 15 Ph.D. fellowships for minorities and women.

Faculty Loan Program commences, with 18 IBM professionals taking leaves of absence to teach at minority colleges and universities. As of 2000, the program has provided more than 1,000 employee instructors at no cost to more than 250 institutions for a full academic year.

Employee volunteerism is encouraged by IBM with the establishment of the Fund for Community Service.

IBM achieves its first operational application of speech recognition, which enables engineers servicing equipment to talk to, and receive spoken answers from, a computer that can recognize approximately 5,000 words. Today, IBM's ViaVoice™ voice recognition technology has a vocabulary of 64,000 words and a 260,000-word backup dictionary. In 1997 ViaVoice products are introduced in China and Japan. Highly customized VoiceType® products are also available specifically for people working in emergency medicine, journalism, law and radiology.


Vin Learson forms the Corporate Responsibility Committee to monitor IBM's performance in social responsibility.

IBM launches Computer Programmer Training for the Physically Disabled, an initiative to train and place people with severe physical disabilities as entry-level computer programmers.

A new benefit, Adoption Assistance, is introduced to employees.

IBM establishes a science center in Haifa, Israel. Today nearly 250 scientists and engineers at the Haifa Research Laboratory focus on a wide range of research areas, including operating systems; distributed computing; systems availability; computer communication; computing languages; multimedia; physical and logic design; and mathematical models and applications.


Frank T. Cary becomes Chairman and CEO of IBM.

Equal Opportunity becomes part of IBM's business strategy, including an accelerated career - development plan for minorities and women.

Asian American IBM scientist Leo Esaki wins the Nobel Prize in physics for experimental discovery of electron tunneling in semiconductors.

Dental Plan offered to IBM employees.

The IBM 3340 disk unit, later known as Winchester, pushed forward the disk frontier.


IBM identifies South Africa as a corporate social responsibility. Over the next decade, IBM meets with the South African government, Department of Education, African National Congress and future president Thabo Mbeki to discuss ways to enact peaceful change. IBM's South Africa Projects Fund invests $3 million yearly for Black education, entrepreneurship and legal reform. IBM and the Rev. Leon Sullivan enlist major American corporations to enforce peaceful change in South Africa. See 1970 Then & Now.

The National Conference on Computing Careers for Deaf People is supported by IBM and chaired by Dr. Steven Jamison of IBM. Jamison oversees IBM's on - the - job summer training for deaf college students.

The first grant to the National American Indian Scholarship Fund is provided by IBM. A decade later, IBM develops close ties with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).


IBM helps launch the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

In the lawsuit NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Company, the NAACP loses the initial suit in the Mississippi courts and suffers a judgment of $1.25 million. An appeal requires the NAACP to have $3 million available. IBM, with other companies, helps the NAACP raise the necessary cash to enable it to appeal the decision. The NAACP eventually wins this case in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982.


Instead of using hand - wound wire structures as coils for inductive elements, IBM researchers substitute thin-film "wires" patterned by optical lithography. This leads to higher - performance recording heads at reduced cost and establishes IBM's leadership in areal density — storing the most data in the least space.