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IBM Diversity Chief’s ‘Strong Statement’ on LGBT Earns Kudos

June 29, 2016 12:36 pm

Social media accolades pour in from IBM employees and public after Lindsay-Rae McIntyre blog post gains traction.

IBM postBy Eve Tahmincioglu

IBM just published a strong statement on how companies can do more to support their LGBT employees

That headline from Business Insider got social media buzzing last week, and the woman behind the “strong statement” was Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, vice president and chief diversity officer for the tech giant, which is No. 20 on the 2016 DiversityInc Top 50

McIntyre published a blog post tied to LGBT Pride Month on IBM’s Think blog titled: IBM Stands Strong with its LGBT Employees.

Here’s an excerpt:

Over the past year, high-profile debates over discriminatory policy measures in several U.S. states have prompted many people — some for the first time — to carefully consider the challenges facing the LGBT community. As part of our global efforts, we have worked to ensure that LGBT IBMers in every U.S. state are afforded the same rights as their colleagues.

 When proposed government action has been in fundamental conflict with our values, we’ve engaged with government officials directly and publicly to make our views known, opposing various state laws and executive actions.

It’s a strong statement indeed, and the type of move many savvy companies have engaged in recently as a way to get the word out about how inclusive they are — a move that is often seen as a way to bolster recruitment, especially among younger employees who seek to work for open-minded organizations.

McIntyre also took the opportunity to point out all of the LGBT friendly policies the company provides.

We were one of the first companies to include sexual orientation as part of the policy more than 30 years ago. We extended domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian employees in the U.S. almost 20 years ago. Today, we provide LGBT employees with the professional and family support they need around the world. IBM’s LGBT benefits extend beyond local practices in many countries. 

When asked by DiversityInc why she decided to write the blog post, McIntyre said:

“IBM has a long history of diversity leadership, including support for the LGBT community, and we have celebrated exciting recent advances globally. Given the confluence of recent events with Pride Month, we felt it was the right thing to do.”

Clearly, many people on social media thought IBM was doing the right thing, especially IBM employees.

Here’s one tweet that summed up IBM pride for McIntyre’s bold move:

IBM tweet