Knowledge Center

IBM—Leading the Cognitive Era Powered by the Global Advancement of Women

Leading the Cognitive Era Powered by the Global Advancement of Women at IBM is a global initiative that started in 2012 with the appointment of CEO Ginni Rometty. In the midst of global transformation, IBM has strategically and purposefully focused on technical women’s career development and advancement. HR and global business leaders partner to drive IBM’s diversity and inclusion goals by attracting and recruiting diverse talent; prioritizing leadership development and talent discussions; and engaging as a good corporate citizen. 

Important components and programs include: 

  • Robust recruitment and diverse slate practices.

  • A variety of programs to help re-engage women and diverse talent, such as:

    • Reconnections, a program to re-engage IBM alumni.

    • Tech Re-Entry, a program for mid-level women who have been out of the tech workforce for at least two years.

  • Career development activities across the talent lifecycle, including targeted mentoring, sponsorship, and support structures for technical women and executives.

  • Monthly CEO-led “Five-Minute Drills,” which discuss talent to identify critical roles, review talent development, and place talent for growth.

Women’s representation has increased between 2012 and 2016. During this timeframe, IBM increased its global representation of technical women from 22% to 25%, and also grew its global women manager and executive population from 25% to 26%. Additionally, women make up 29% of IBM’s Board of Directors.