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Each task force also had two or more executive cochairs who were members of the constituency. For these roles, Childs and Bouchard recruited high-performing, well-respected senior managers and junior executives who were at least at the director level. The executive sponsors were senior vice presidents, and most reported directly to Gerstner.
They were selected by Bouchard and Childs based on their willingness to support the change process and on the potential for synergies within their given business areas. Similarly, the SVP for research and development was asked to sponsor the people with disabilities task force, with the expectation that if he could get closer to the day-to-day experiences of people with disabilities in his own organization, he would gain new insights into the development of accessible products.
Sponsors were not necessarily constituents of their groups. It meant that they and the task force members would have to learn from their differences. A sponsor would have to dig deep into the issues of the task force to represent its views and interests to other WMC members.
In addition to having a sponsor, cochairs, and members, each task force was assigned one or two HR employees and a senior HR executive for administrative support, as well as a lawyer for legal guidance. Once the task forces had been set up and launched, Bouchard sent an e-mail to every U. He also encouraged employees to respond with specific suggestions for how to make IBM a more inclusive environment. Childs then compiled more than 2, responses to the e-mail and channeled them to the appropriate task forces.
As a result of these suggestions, the task forces focused on the following areas for evaluation and improvement: communications, staffing, employee benefits, workplace flexibility, training and education, advertising and marketplace opportunities, and external relations. The initial charge of the task forces was to take six months to research and report back to the CEO and the WMC on four questions: What is necessary for your constituency to feel welcome and valued at IBM?
And which external organizations should IBM form relationships with to better understand the needs of your constituency? This whole idea of bringing together people in the workplace and letting them form these groups was really repugnant on its face to a lot of people, and of course IBM had been a nonunion company in the United States for a long, long time. I mean, having groups was like letting them into your living room. I was somewhat skeptical, and there was a level of reluctance in terms of how successful this would ultimately become in IBM, given some of the complex issues around the topic of diversity.
The groups faced other challenges as well. Task force members also disagreed on tactics. Some within the black task force, for instance, advocated for a conservative approach, fearing that putting a spotlight on the group would be perceived as asking for unearned preferences, and, even worse, might encourage the stereotype that blacks are less capable. But most in the group felt that more aggressive action would be needed to break down the barriers facing blacks at IBM.
In both cases, members engaged in lengthy dialogue to understand various points of view, and, in light of very real deadlines for reporting back, were forced to agree on concrete proposals for accomplishing sometimes competing goals. The black group decided it needed to clarify the link between its concerns and those of the company—making it clear that the members were raising business issues and that the task force effort was not intended to favor any group.
During the six months of the initial phase, Childs checked in with each group periodically and held monthly meetings to ensure that each was staying focused. The check-ins were also meant to facilitate information sharing across groups, especially if several were grappling with similar issues. Their most critical task was to interpret the data as a means of identifying solutions and opportunities for IBM. Childs and the task force cochairs also realized that not addressing these issues would hamper the credibility of the initiative with frontline employees.
The task force members then used the vital few to shape their thinking about possible business and development opportunities. On December 1, , the task forces met to share their initial findings. That act, of course, led to her arrest and ignited the Montgomery bus boycotts that ushered in the modern U. Just as the Bastille Day launch signaled a release from old ways of thinking, the timing of this meeting indicated a desire for a radically new approach to diversity. Other concerns were specific to particular groups, including domestic partner benefits identified by the GLBT task force and issues of access to buildings and technology raised by the people with disabilities task force.
Overall, the findings made it clear that workforce diversity was the bridge between the workplace and the marketplace—in other words, greater diversity in the workplace could help IBM attract a more diverse customer set. A focus on diversity was, in short, a major business opportunity.
It became clear that workforce diversity was the bridge— in other words, greater diversity in the workplace could help IBM attract a more diverse customer set. All eight task forces recommended that the company create diversity groups beyond those at the executive level. In response, IBM in formed employee network groups as a way for others in the company to participate. The network groups today run across constituencies, offering a variety of perspectives on issues that are local or unique to particular units.
They offer a forum for employees to interact electronically and in person to discuss issues specific to their constituencies. The company did, and diversity councils and employee network groups were born. The diversity councils, groups of employees across diverse constituencies, were created specifically to address local or unique diversity issues. Through these 72 councils, IBM seeks to ensure that its workforce represents an environment that visibly encourages and values the contributions and differences of employees from various backgrounds.
The objectives include heightening employee awareness, increasing management sensitivity, and making the most out of a diverse workforce. The network groups came out of a grassroots initiative driven by employees and have a broader scope than the task forces or councils.
IBM has such groups, in which employees interact electronically and in person to discuss issues specific to their constituency. The black networks, for instance, have been helpful in connecting employees who are working in areas of the company where there are few blacks. Those who are part of the networks, especially at facilities located far from urban areas, feel less isolated and report greater job satisfaction.
While diversity councils and employee network groups are independent from the task forces, all three frequently collaborate. One area of focus has been the importance of mentoring women globally. IBM regions have tailored programs to the needs of women in various locations.
The goal is to ensure that they receive advice, guidance, and support and share knowledge that is relevant to other constituencies. This has been accomplished via Web-based mentoring, job shadowing, and group mentoring. Several Web lectures have also been developed on this topic. The program brought together 30 middle-school girls for a week that summer to learn about science and math in a fun, interactive way from female IBM employees.
After the girls attend camp, they are assigned an IBM female scientist or engineer as a mentor for one year. In alone, girls attended, and in , 1, will have gone through the program. Initially, the group helped IBM revamp its communications strategy for reaching female- and minority-owned companies.
Its role has since evolved into identifying and supporting sales and marketing strategies aimed at these important segments. A case in point is advertising, where the MD convened teams from the task forces and the advertising department to create constituency casting guidelines and other communications. The people with disabilities task force PWD , which initially focused on compliance with accessibility laws, began in to think about making the leap from compliance to market initiatives.
The PWD task force leaders took the opportunity to point out the tremendous market potential in government contracts if IBM made its products more accessible. Palmisano agreed, and PWD received the green light it needed to advance its projects. One reason for the increased focus on accessible technology was that in June , the U.
Congress implemented legislation mandating that all new IT equipment and services purchased by federal agencies must be accessible. This legislation—known as Section —makes accessibility a more important decision criterion than price in many bid situations, thus creating an opportunity for accessibility IT leaders to gain market share, charge a price premium, or both, from federal buyers.
IBM believes that business opportunities will grow as countries around the world implement similar legislation. Furthermore, the private-sector opportunity for accessible technology could be far greater than that of the government as companies address a growing aging population. Watson, Jr. With this kind of history, what is the future of diversity at IBM, and where is it heading?
Chief diversity officer Ted Childs is now developing a global strategy to better address issues facing the company around the world. Included in that strategy is a definition of diversity that encompasses global cultures. In Europe, for instance, IBM is trying to be more mindful of the growing number of ethnic minorities. In Asia-Pacific, the programs try to address the differences between countries and regions. All of these efforts are essential as global boundaries continue to dissolve.
Any major corporate change will succeed only if a few key factors are in place: strong support from company leaders, an employee base that is fully engaged with the initiative, management practices that are integrated and aligned with the effort, and a strong and well-articulated business case for action.
IBM has taken several approaches to helping executives deepen their awareness and understanding. To begin with, the structure of the task forces—how they operate and who is on them—immerses executive sponsors in the specific challenges faced by the employee constituency groups. The groups are a formal mechanism for learning, endorsed at the highest levels of the company.
Second, the chief diversity officer, Ted Childs, acts as a partner with the CEO as well as coach and adviser to other executives. And I care about you, and I care about this company. And third, Gerstner and later Palmisano not only sanctioned the task force process but actively sought to be role models themselves.
He also challenged assumptions about when people could be ready for general management assignments. In one case, Gerstner and his team were discussing the next job for a high-potential female executive. Instead she was given a general management assignment—and the team got a signal from the CEO about his commitment to diversity. His behavior communicated a sense of appreciation and accountability for people development. Indeed, accountability for results became as critical in this domain as it was for all business goals.
Gerstner also modeled desired behaviors in his interactions with his direct reports. One of them told me this story:. I had been at the board meeting that day. Baby Boomers. Code of Ethics. HR managers often have insufficient general management training to understand the entire organization b. There are two major models that outline the process of what strategy is and how is should be developed.
The traditional model b. The industrial organization model c. The organization self-assessment model 7. In forecasting the demand for employees the company would be involved in a. Outsourcing and Trends. Orientation and Training. Opportunities and Threats. If a company is analyzing its percentage of new and returning customers, development of its employees and employee issues such as rewards and training then the company is using a measurement to ensure strategic alignment known as the a.
Balanced Scorecard. Benchmarking Metrics. Markov analysis tracking system. The legislative act that bars discrimination in all HR activities, including hiring, training, promotion, pay, employee benefits, and other conditions of employment, based on a particular group of workers, or the protected class, is known as the 1. Civil Rights Act of Equal Employment Act of Employment Discrimination Act.
Which of the following is NOT illegal according to federal law? Limiting training opportunities to men. Paying a woman less than a man for doing the same job. Promoting a white male over a black male on the basis of seniority. Japanese-American to be an interpreter at the Japanese Embassy. When an employee can adjust their daily starting and quitting times, provide that they work a certain number of hours per day or week, their work schedule is known as a.
Women b. Disabled c. African-Americans
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