Congratulations to one of our Trailblazers! Virginia M. Rometty, will become IBMs new CEO.
Rometty will be the 17th woman to sit at the helm of a Fortune 500 company. IBM is listed as number 7 on Diversity Inc’s. top 50 companies for diversity.
Vice President of Diversity and Workforce Programs for the IBM Corporation, Ron Glover, is passionate about his work and has been successful in bringing about diversity and inclusion on all levels of the company.
Glover recalled a conversation with a colleague on the senior leadership team. They were reviewing internal candidate slates for “executive level opportunities” when Ron made a remark about the colleagues’ diligence in asking a number of questions regarding the candidate slate. As Glover tells the story, he says his colleague looked at him and said: “I’m not doing this for diversity, Ron. I’m doing this because that’s one of the ways I assess whether the slate has absolutely the best people on it. When it’s not diverse, it’s a tip off to me that somehow or another we didn’t get the right names of people on the slate.  IBM — known to have a long term penchant for talent identification and development — believes that tangible actions such as reinforce the assertion that the “tone is set at the top”.
IBM is one of many companies implementing strategy and using metrics to determine progress in D&I and taking accountability for results.
Trailblazers focus on three to five primary components of achievement — largely universal milestones that their organizational scorecards use to measure accountability. These are meant to be representative, not all encompassing. They include but are not limited to such objectives as: Culture of Inclusion, Talent Management Pipeline and External Partnership and Brand Eminence. [Each primary component consists of sub components. For example 3 of the many mini components under the primary component of Talent Management Pipeline are]:
- Percent women and people of color who are participating in select leadership development programs, and their advancement rates subsequent to participation
- Percent overall women, women of color and people of color in top 200 positions on a year by year comparison basis
- Percent women and people of color advancing into senior management or officer level positions on a year by year comparison basis
Though 17 may seem to be a small number to hold up as progress, the fact is, it is progress. Women have come a long way in the workforce. Some may regard these 17 women; the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, as well as other minorities in leadership positions, as a mere crack in the glass ceiling. Yes, there is still work to be done in bringing about diversity and equity in the executive suite. However, we must continue to be encouraged to take action, commend efforts and celebrate milestones. When we take a look at the big picture, each milestone is being set down to build a trailblazing path.