IBM celebrates women achievers at Winspiration 2011

by Agencies    Nov 15, 2011

IBM celebrated the contribution of women employees to IBM’s 100 year journey of success and growth at Winspiration 2011, its flagship Annual Women Leadership Conference across six locations – Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata and Gurgaon.

Programs for leadership development and priority hiring for women were also announced at the conference. The new initiatives will aim to bring, women with technical skills, back to work as well as focus on leadership development in technical and sales functions across all business divisions at IBM.

The interactive and thought provoking agenda combined experience-sharing sessions by women leaders at IBM and general panel discussions on issues relating to women at the workplace. It also served as a meeting ground for high potential women leaders to network, collaborate and draw upon each others experiences, and imbibe nuances of leadership from inspiring speakers from within and outside IBM.

Anupama Ambe, Chairperson IWLC said “While the initial challenge of getting women to be a part of the workforce in conventional roles has been met, there is a need (for) to do focussed programs across functions of Business, Technical and Sales to improve the leadership pipeline. An accelerated approach to attract, grow and retain women leaders, empowering them with tools and resources to manage the dynamic needs of the changing workforce is a key aspect of how we manage diversity at IBM. The business benefits are many and the need is quite apparent as we see very many senior leaders in the decision making chain representing clients as well.”

The new program titled TechAcme will focus on women in technical functions. Role models from within IBM and from the industry will be invited as speakers and for interactive sessions with all mangers. Career workshops will also be arranged regularly to introduce women to new technical career forums.

SalesElan, for Leadership development in sales will be a multi tier program across all levels and business units. SalesElan adds to the existing Sales Eminence program which focuses on building basic selling skills, providing a deeper understanding of the market and business development competencies.

A priority engagement program, Liquid Plus will focus on providing alumni women IBMers with an opportunity to continue a professional connect with IBM. This program invites all alumni women IBMers to participate as freelancers. The purpose of the program is to find the world’s best talent to design and develop innovative software applications. Professionals will engage in a highly disciplined transparent short-cycle process to produce project deliverables which may include technical design specs, component software code, test plans and results, or other outcomes required in program delivery of existing or new applications.

Gender Diversity at IBM

The Indian Women’s Leadership Council (IWLC) was formed in 2005 for the advancement of women at IBM. Its membership is drawn from across various Business Units and IBM India Locations.

Currently women comprise 26% of the IBM workforce in India and there are several initiatives directed at priority hiring as well as leadership development programs for them across Business leadership, Technical Leadership and Sales Leadership. These programs have acquired momentum over the years and the results are reflected in the increasing number of women joining as well as in the growth of women to senior executive positions. Over 6000 women have gone through leadership programs exclusively meant for women leaders in IBM. Of these, over 250 of the top talent women have gone through customized, focused, high touch point programs with duration of 12-18 months.

IBM has been awarded several times for its Diversity programs.