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IBM: Equality, driving innovation and pushing the boundaries 

Paul Macpherson, IBM UK Defence Lead

IBM has a long history of equality embedded into our DNA. Most IBMers know about Thomas Watson Sr. issuing IBM Policy Letter #4 in 1953 declaring that our policy on hiring is based on talent “regardless of race, color or creed”, and our belief that everyone has “an equal right to live and work in America”, way before this became law in the US.

What many are not familiar with is our history on equal pay, and this goes right back to 1935 when Thomas J. Watson, Sr. said, “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 opportunity for advancement.”

It is this long standing tradition of equality that we continue to uphold as IBMers and I am proud to lead a Defence Team here in the UK that embodies that spirit. Whilst a diverse and inclusive military is important as it represents the society it serves and protects, it is equally important in technology. Diverse teams bring a broader range of perspectives, experiences, and creative solutions to the table, driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of what technology can achieve.

Every day I continue to be inspired by our diverse team in the same way that we have been inspired by amazing women in defence such as Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, Major Mariam Al-Mansouri, Major General Kristin Lund, and Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester to name a few. The spirit of these incredible women show us we can do great things together and we are proud here in IBM to support Women in Defence and continue the great traditions of equality which are upheld by thousands of IBMers across the globe.