IBM will be a Founding Global Sponsor of Out Leadership’s initiative OutWOMEN, which convenes LGBT women in business, for 2016, the companies announced today.
“We estimate that only about 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs, and fewer than 1% of FTSE 250 CEOs are women,” said Out Leadership Managing Director Stephanie Sandberg. “Of the Financial Times’ 2015 list of global leading LGBT executives, only 24% were women. But we know that diversity in senior leadership improves corporate performance and market opportunities. OutWOMEN seeks to give leading LGBT women a platform to champion their accomplishments, as well as to foster future generations of female leadership who will drive both equality and business results.”
OutWOMEN launched in March 2016 in response to a perceived desire for connection and role models among LGBT women in business. The initiative hosts private dinners for senior-level executive women to convene in cities around the globe, including New York, Hong Kong, and London. OutWOMEN also hosts breakfasts and lunch panels at Out Leadership global summits, which are open to women with less executive seniority.
“At IBM, we support the business case for executive diversity and LGBT representation,” said Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, IBM Chief Diversity Officer. “The company has been committed to gender equality and LGBT-inclusivity for decades, and we look forward to working with OutWOMEN and furthering our position as a global leader in workplace diversity and inclusion.”