By now, you may have seen media reports of email comments between former IBMers that lawyers suing the company claim is evidence of age discrimination. I’d like to take a moment to address this...
The following is a message from IBM Chief Human Resources Officer Nickle LaMoreaux to all employees on Sunday, February 13th, regarding false claims of age discrimination at the company.
Fellow IBMers –
By now, you may have seen media reports of email comments between former IBMers that lawyers suing the company claim is evidence of age discrimination.
I’d like to take a moment to address this very serious claim, and I’ll start with the most important thing you need to know: discrimination of any kind is entirely against our culture and who we are at IBM, and there was (and is) no systemic age discrimination at our company.
As someone who started at IBM as an intern and spent my entire career at this great company, I also want to emphasize that disrespectful language is not who we are. It in no way reflects IBM’s practices or policies.
The facts are clear: between 2010 and 2020, IBM exited whole lines of business and reinvented itself for an entirely new era of technology and the skills it requires. Amidst those significant changes, IBM never engaged in systemic age discrimination, which data confirms:
- Between 2010 and 2020:
- 37 percent of all U.S hires at IBM were over the age of 40.
- IBM hired more than 10,000 people in the U.S. over the age of 50 and 1,500 over the age of 60.
- At the end of this period, in 2020:
- A full 26 percent of IBM’s U.S. workforce had been with the company for 20 years or more.
- The median age of IBM’s U.S. workforce was 48, precisely where it was in 2010 and six years older than the 2020 median age of all U.S. workers.
IBM's workforce strategy has always been shaped by one core principle: having the right skills at the right levels in the right jobs to support our clients. It has never been driven by the age of any individual or group of employees.
Discrimination or disrespect based on age – or any other form of discrimination – has absolutely no place at IBM. As we close out our recertification of the Business Conduct Guidelines for 2022, let’s remember they are a standard of conduct to which we all are held accountable, and they expressly forbid discrimination in all its forms.
I’d also remind everyone that we have multiple channels that IBMers can use to report concerns about discrimination or harassment – or any other behavior that is counter to the Business Conduct Guidelines, our values, and our culture. If you see something, say something.
Thank you for all you do to make IBM a unique and special place to work, and for your unwavering belief in our future.