Computer giant puts employees in the driving seat

IBM has put its drive for diversity in the hands of it workforce by
empowering them to harness their creativity and make the company an employer of

The computer giant, which employs 22,000 staff in the UK, has set up more
than 150 diversity group networks, where staff with ‘common philosophies’ can
meet and share knowledge and experience that will make IBM more competitive.

The voluntary groups, representing women, Asian staff and those with
disabilities, meet locally to discuss the sensitivities of workers, customers
and competitors. They are organised by a core of 500 employees, but are open to
all staff. The information and views collected are sent to HR, which can then
‘champion the networks’.

The company also hosts annual national forums, where respective local groups
can share concerns and ideas. This includes an IBM women’s conference, where
more than 300 female staff discuss how they can be role models and play an
active part in the growth of the company.

Dave Heath, HR director at IBM, said the networks were the company’s main
driver towards a diverse workforce and gave everyone in the business a voice.

"The networks are more than just talking shops," he said.
"They focus the population of IBM on diversity and on how our competitors
operate. This can only enhance business success."

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