Diversity and Inclusion

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


James Hunt with Smart Start children
North Carolina Governor James Hunt with Smart Start children. 1990s

ThinkPad. 1992.

IBM's gay and lesbian employees in Stonewall 25 Gay Pride Parade
Gay Pride Parade. 1994.

Lou Gerstner
Lou Gerstner. 1995.

IBM e-business logo
IBM coins the term "e-business". 1997.

Deep BlueTM defeats World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov
Deep BlueTM defeats World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. 1997.

Cesar Gonzales
Cesar Gonzales is named IBM's first Hispanic IBM Fellow. 1998.

Lou Gerstner accepts the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership in Workforce Diversity from President Clinton
Lou Gerstner accepts the Ron Brown Award. 1998.

Diversity Creates Market Opportunities

As networking advances create a new global economy, IBM's commitment to diversity creates new business opportunities and becomes, in itself, a strategy for success in the changing marketplace.


IBM creates the IBM Funds for Dependent Care Initiatives (FDCI) and commits $25 million to dependent care, the largest such commitment of any U.S. corporation. The purpose is to help meet employees' work- and personal life - balance needs.

Nominated by IBM, David Schwartzkopf is named the Disabled American of the Year by the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.


IBM pledges $10 million over 10 years to the United Negro College Fund.


IBM introduces a new line of notebook computers. Housed in a distinctive black case and featuring the TrackPoint® (an innovative pointing device nestled in the middle of the keyboard), the ThinkPad® is an immediate hit and goes on to collect more than 300 awards for design and quality


Louis V. Gerstner Jr. becomes Chairman and CEO of IBM.


IBM's gay and lesbian employees meet and carry a rainbow - colored "Think" banner in Stonewall 25 Gay Pride Parade. Ten years earlier, IBM was one of the first companies to add sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination polices. In 1995 IBM helps sponsor New York City Gay and Lesbian Expo.

Lou Gerstner launches Reinventing Education, an educational reform program that prompts Harvard Business Review (May/June 1999) to call IBM "a corporate social innovator."


Lou Gerstner commissions eight Executive Diversity Task Forces: Asian, Black, Gay and Lesbian, Hispanic, Men, Native American, People with disabilities and Women.

Lou Gerstner named Working Mother magazine's 1995 Family Champion, an award honoring a corporate leader who has taken personal responsibility for making his or her workplace more family - friendly.

IBM sponsors Puzzle Place, a children's TV show starring a multiethnic cast of kid puppets.

IBM cosponsors a diversity practices survey with peer companies in the industry. As a result, the Technology Consortium, an ongoing diversity roundtable, is established.

IBM combines its Child and Elder Care Resource and Referral Service into a single program: LifeWorks.

IBM replenishes its Funds for Dependent Care Initiatives with $50 million through the years 1995 - 2000.

Lou Gerstner gives keynote address at COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas and declares a new focus on network computing: "The implications of network - centric computing go on and on. It will transform every business, organization and institution in the world. It will create winners and losers. It will change the way we do business, the way we teach our children, communicate and interact as individuals."

IBM Research establishes the China Research Laboratory in Beijing. The lab is formed to focus initially on creating software and applications that are especially relevant to China. Examples include digital libraries, speech recognition for Mandarin, machine translation, Chinese - language processing, multimedia and the Internet. The Austin Research Laboratory opens in Texas. The lab is focused on advanced circuit design, as well as new design techniques and tools for very high - performance microprocessors.


IBM announces Domestic Partner Benefits for gay and lesbian employees.

IBM cosponsors Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays Conference (PFLAG).

IBM funds the Anti-Defamation League's anti-hate education program in San Francisco, California; Broward County, Florida; and Chicago, Illinois, public schools.

The Women in Technology International Hall of Fame initially inducts 10 women Ruth Leach Amonette, the first woman to hold an executive position at IBM; Barbara Grant, Ph.D., first woman to be named an IBM site general manager; and Linda Sanford, the highest - placed technical woman in IBM.


The Market Development organization is established by IBM to create new constituent markets within the American marketplace for Asians, Blacks, Gays and Lesbians, Hispanics, Mature Adults, Native Americans, People with disabilities and Women.

IBM is the largest employer of INROADS students, a program for Black and Hispanic college interns.

IBM hosts its first Global Women's Leadership Meeting to address barriers to women's advancement. IBM hosts Women's Roundtables and establishes Women's Councils in Asia, Europe, Japan and Latin America.

Along with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, IBM works to establish an intern program for disabled students studying math and science. Seventeen students participate in 1997, 19 in 1998 and 33 in 1999.

The Women in Technology International Hall of Fame inducts Frances Allen, a pioneer in the field of optimizing compilers and first woman IBM Fellow.

IBM establishes the first Diversity Network Groups — Asian, Black, Gay/Lesbian, Native American, People with disabilities and Women-- employee organizations that promote internal networking, career development and community service.

IBM cosponsors a Technology Forum with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to address the "digital divide" between people with access to technology and those without it. In response, a report, "Technology for Use by Us All," is created for widespread dissemination, as well as a new IBM Technology Access Grants Program that will support selected nonprofit organizations to increase information access for underserved constituencies in rural and urban areas.

In a six-game match followed worldwide, Deep Blue™ — a 32-node IBM RS/6000® SP supercomputer — defeats World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. In naming the match one of the most important events of 1997, Time magazine writes that Deep Blue's victory "dealt a humiliating blow to the self-esteem of carbon-based life forms — at least until backpedaling commentators recalled the obvious: the human race did build the damn thing in the first place".

Three scientists from IBM -- Robert Dennard, Mark Dean and Dennis Moeller — join the ranks of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Louis Pasteur and IBM Nobel Prize winners Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer as they are inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. As of 2000, only 151 individuals have received this honor.

Visually impaired computer users throughout Japan welcome news of the IBM Home Page Reader (HPR), Japan's first Web-enabled software product that reads aloud news and information off the Internet and provides easier ways for the blind to navigate the Web. News coverage features IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory scientist Chieko Asakawa, a member of the development team, who is blind.


IBM announces a major technology access grants program. To date, $1.5 million in grants has been awarded to nonprofit organizations whose proposals relate to increasing information and technology access to underserved constituencies.

Twenty - two - year employee Jim Sinocchi, a quadriplegic, becomes an IBM executive.

IBM Special Needs Systems helps develop accessibility guidelines for the W3C, a group of more than 300 companies worldwide; the International Organization of Standards (ISO); and a federal committee establishing guidelines for government - purchased technology.

IBM is the only company to be named to Working Mother magazine's "Best Companies" for 13 consecutive years and the prestigious "Top 10" for 11 consecutive years.

Lou Gerstner accepts the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership in Workforce Diversity from President Clinton on behalf of IBM employees and shareholders.


IBM RS/6000 hosts the Human Genome DataBase at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

IBM leads the world in patents for the seventh straight year with 2,756 -- 900 more than the next-closest company.

IBM invests $1 million in the Smart Start Program, which is dedicated to improving the quality of child-care centers and teacher training throughout North Carolina.

IBM Research announces exploratory project to build Blue Gene™, the first supercomputer to operate at a petaflop (one quadrillion operations per second). The supercomputer, scheduled to be completed in four to five years, will first tackle the problem of simulating the folding of proteins.