Work and Family at IBM

Work and Family at IBM - Hill et al. Work and Scientist...

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10.1 7 /0 2764206286384 American Behavioral Scientist Hil et al. / Work and Family at IBM Twenty Years of Work and Family at International Business Machines Corporation E. Jeffrey Hill Brigham Young University Andre’a D. Jackson International Business Machines Corporation Giuseppe Martinengo Brigham Young University Twenty years ago, corporate work and family programs at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) were seen as a means to accommodate the needs of work- ing mothers. Today, IBM’s work/life strategy is seen as a business imperative to attract, motivate, and retain key talent needed to drive success in the marketplace. To intelli- gently develop work/life strategies that would simultaneously meet business and per- sonal needs, IBM conducted seven work and life issues surveys, beginning in 1986. These surveys provide a wealth of data on which dramatic change has been based. Many initiatives have been implemented related to dependent care, flexibility in when and where work is done, and management support of employees’work/life needs. This article briefly shares IBM’s work/life experience during the past 20 years. Key results from each work/life survey are enumerated along with the substantive policies that they engendered to make IBM a global corporate work/life leader. Keywords: work/life balance; organizations; IBM; workplace flexibility International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) 1985 Andrea Henderson graduated near the top of her engineering class at Massachu- setts Institute of Technology in 1976. She was one of a large cohort of capable women with technical degrees from top universities hired by IBM in the late 1970s. IBM 1165 American Behavioral Scientist Volume 49 Number 9 May 2006 1165-1183 © 2006 Sage Publications 10.1177/0002764206286384 hosted at Authors’ Note: We thank International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) for providing the support and cooperation needed to compile the data used in this article. Ideas expressed are the opinions of the authors, not necessarily of IBM. We also thank the Family Studies Center of the Brigham Young University School of Family Life for its support of our work. Finally, we express special thanks to Jenet Jacob and Roxane Whyte, who aided in the preparation of this manuscript. Address correspondence to E. Jeffrey Hill, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, 2052 JFSB, Provo, UT; fax: (801) 422-0230; e-mail:
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invested more than US$100,000 in Andrea during her 12-month training program to become a large systems technical marketing rep. Andrea was very successful and in 1980 achieved recognition at IBM’s 100% club as the top marketing professional in the southwest. That year she also married Chuck, an IBM systems engineer she had met working on a complex marketing proposal for American Express. In December 1982, she gave birth to her first child, Sarah, just in time to finish the sales year at 145% of her quota. Motherhood was very important to Andrea. She felt it important to immerse herself in nurturing little Sarah. She found this intensely satisfying and felt
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Work and Family at IBM - Hill et al. Work and Scientist...

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