IBM Engineers Honored for Diversity Leadership

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ARMONK, NY - 14 Apr 2003: IBM engineers Josephine Cheng, Kerrie Holley and Anthony "Tony" Martinez are being honored in separate industry awards ceremonies recognizing their outstanding achievements and exemplary leadership in the engineering profession.

For their long-standing service as inspirational role models for underrepresented minorities, this trio of IBM technical leaders received the following accolades:

"Clearly, these professionals are outstanding engineers and technical leaders in their own right. However, it's also important to recognize that they've become established leaders in their fields despite having few professional role models of their own," said Nick Donofrio, senior vice president, Technology and Manufacturing for IBM. "As the IT industry works to increase its diversity, pioneers like Jo Cheng, Kerrie Holley and Tony Martinez are paving the way for underrepresented minorities, particularly women, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans who have traditionally not been drawn to engineering."

Jo Cheng, who grew up in Hong Kong and was educated at the University of Oregon, became an engineer almost by accident. As a pharmacy student, she took a computer science course "for fun"... and became hooked. In 1978, her first year out of school, she found herself on the team that developed IBM's ubiquitous database software, which has become a staple in data centers of most Fortune 500 companies. With 21 patents to her name, Cheng is an IBM Fellow -- IBM's highest technical honor -- and a member of the elite IBM Academy of Technology.

In addition to his position as a chief architect, Kerrie Holley also holds the title of IBM Distinguished Engineer and is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology -- both of which comprise only about 300 technologists out of 170,000 employees. Raised by a single parent on Chicago's South Side, Holley earned both an undergraduate degree in mathematics, as well as a law degree from DePaul University. He is a sought-after expert in translating business requirements into process designs for cutting-edge network centric distributed solutions.

Tony Martinez, a native of San Paulo, Brazil, IBM Distinguished Engineer and professional environment strategy and design executive for IBM Global Services, immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1972 in pursuit of the "American Dream." The first member of his family to attend college, Martinez chose engineering as a way to combine his creative skills with his penchant for science and research. He has a substantial patent portfolio, mostly in the area of user interfaces affecting the quality and ease of use of both IBM products and business processes.

To ensure that talented people can contribute at the highest possible level, IBM insists on a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment and full of opportunity for all people. For IBM, diversity is a business imperative as fundamental as delivering superior technologies to the marketplace.

Reflective of its worldwide customer base, IBM has a broad definition of diversity. In addition to race, gender and physical disabilities, it includes human differences such as culture, lifestyle, age, religion, economic status, sexual orientation and marital status. Workforce diversity at IBM excludes no one and serves as the bridge between the workplace and the marketplace.

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