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Going beyond Women’s History Month: Celebrating & empowering women scientists

Across the country today, we kick off Women’s History Month and look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.

Across the country today, we kick off Women’s History Month and look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.

At IBM, we are committing to the theme of “Women Rising,” which has personal and professional resonance for me as a woman in what unfortunately continues to be predominantly male fields: science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In fact, although women account for half of the US’s college-educated workforce, they only make up 28 percent of the STEM workforce and 13 percent of inventors.

And while we have made progress in both hiring and representation for global women and underrepresented minorities in the US over the last three years at IBM, we know we can and must do more to ensure women feel empowered to be their authentic selves, to build their skills, and rise to their full potential.

At IBM Research, we value a diverse and inclusive workforce — and we recognize that we need women researchers and scientists more than ever to solve some of world’s greatest challenges. And we are facing an unprecedented magnitude of complex global issues that can threaten our future if left unchecked. For example, climate change, viruses impacting human health and livelihood, threats to our food supply, and widening inequality are just a few. Through IBM’s advancements — many of which were achieved by women — in hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other science fields, we have a unique opportunity to make important contributions to society through our diverse teams.

In order to create a culture and climate within and outside of IBM Research that embraces, supports, and enables successful careers in STEM, we need to work together every day to hire, empower, and grow women in STEM fields.

The data is clear: Diverse teams are more innovative and solve problems faster. As part of my commitment to tackling the issue of empowering women in science, I’m proud to serve as one of the executive sponsors of the IBM Research Diversity & Inclusion Council, which is responsible for ensuring IBM Research is leveraging our innovation and influence to make meaningful changes in support of diversity, inclusion, and racial justice.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we will spotlight women researchers and scientists from various disciplines, experiences, and tenures at IBM Research and share their insights about their role at IBM, career journeys, inspirations, and guidance for fellow women in STEM. Please follow along and engage with us on Twitter, @IBMResearch.