Diversity and Talent Management Practices at IBM

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB089
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1995-2005
Organization : IBM
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : IT

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

Women in the Workforce

IBM started recruiting women professionals well before the Equal Pay Act, 1963. A letter issued by Watson Sr. in 1935 stated, "Men and women will do the same kind of work for equal pay. They will have the same treatment, the same responsibilities, and the same opportunities for advancement." IBM's management made efforts to find out what the specific needs of its women employees and provided women-friendly facilities accordingly. This helped the women in increasing their productivity while maintaining a proper balance between work and family life. The women networking groups in IBM actively promoted female mentoring, assisted women to achieve a better work/life balance, and also conducted programs to encourage girls to seek careers in the IT industry (Refer to Table I for 'Filling the Pipeline' programs)...

Talent Management

To achieve a balance between talent supply and demand, IBM often redeployed its workforce. The internal redeployment process was designed to minimize loss of productivity of skilled employees. Each of IBM's business units had its own resource board that reviewed and approved external job postings on a regular basis. In case the company had employees with skills matching the criteria, they were redeployed on the new job instead of recruitment being done externally...

The Road Ahead

IBM treated diversity as a part of its business strategy. Having employees from different social and cultural strata helped the company understand and serve its customers better.

It also helped the company expand its market by obtaining business from small and medium sized enterprises owned by the women and minorities (Asian, Black, Hispanic, etc.). In the early 2000s, the executive diversity task forces were encouraged to develop business relationships with the leading women and minority-owned businesses in the US...


Exhibit I: Incentive Plan of IBM
Exhibit II: Diversity: Awards and Recognitions
Exhibit III: Recruitment Programs for People with Disabilities
Exhibit IV: A Note on Talent Marketplace


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