IBM Video Series Celebrates International Women’s Day

iwd_squareInternational Women’s Day is this week: March 8, 2013.

To coincide with this global event, 18 IBMers – of all ages, cultures, and stages of their careers – are talking about IBM values, corporate social responsibility, job opportunities, and flexibility. In these videos, they’re sharing why they love being part of a company that makes the world a better place, with its enduring commitment to diversity (including diversity of thought), and its rigorous focus on innovation.

Check out the video below from IBM Australia:

In this video from IBM Diversity, Sylvie speaks of the opportunities and amenities provided in her time with IBM to promote family and professional achievements. She also shares her insight on how leadership is demonstrated differently when it comes to gender, and says, “Women tend to collaborate more, which can be the signature of a strong leader.”

Some of the events IBM has or will be participating in for 2013 for International Women’s Day:

IBM has also had a long history of supporting and participating in this notable worldwide event. Here’s a few of the past stories and events:


Greater IBM: How do you plan to celebrate International Women’s Day?


Additional resources:


–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

IBM Vice President, Gill Zhou, Is a Model for Working Women in China (Ad Age)

Gill Zhou, Vice President Marketing, Communications & Citizenship, IBM Greater China Group

Gill Zhou, Vice President Marketing, Communications & Citizenship, IBM Greater China Group

IBM Vice President, Gill Zhou, was recognized as being one of China’s Women to Watch in September 2012 at a gala event sponsored by Ad Age and Thoughtful China.  The recognition cites Gill as being a role model for Chinese women in business, as evidenced by her 760,000 followers on the Chinese micro-blogging service Sina Weibo (now more than 1M+). Gill is quoted in the article as follows: “As a woman leader, I always have to be conscious that we play multiple roles: professional, daughter, daughter-in-law, wife, mother, parent,” says Ms. Zhou, who often accommodates employees’ family needs by granting them flexibility. “It’s never easy.”   Previously in charge of Communications for IBM Asia Pacific, Ms. Zhou took on the role of leading marketing for IBM China in 2012 after driving double digit growth in the region in 2011.

At the gala event, Ms. Zhou had this thought to share with the event attendees:

“My key takeaway out of my 20 years career in the fast changing industry like IT is you have to choose your battles….but once you define your battles, DO IT with an unwavering focus…”

Ms. Zhou has also been recognized by a number of other organizations.  Prior to joining IBM, she worked at Motorola where she received the “Woman Star of Motorola” award for her role in making the company one of the top 10 brands in China (2000).   In 2004, she was recognized as being one of the top 10 women in China’s IT industry in a program sponsored by the All China Women’s Federation, Ministry of Information Industry and China Computerworld, and was also voted one of the Top 50 most influential women in China by Trends magazine.  More recently, she was a keynote speaker at Working Mother magazine’s ‘Global Advancement of Women‘ conference in Shanghai in 2011 where she spoke on Strategies in Building Your Personal Brand.

Read the full story and learn more about Ms. Zhou below, including some video footage from the event:

(Video credit: Thoughtful China Women to Watch Event)

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection


The January 2013 theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ”leadership”, and The Greater IBM Connection will be sharing various tips, tools, stories, and resources on this topic.

IBM Vice President, Dr. Matt Wang, Awarded 2012 IT Times Outstanding Leadership (China)

Dr. Matt Wang (Wang Yang), Vice President, IBM China Research and Development Center, is presented with IT Times Award on Dec 13, 2012

Dr. Matt Wang (Wang Yang), Vice President, IBM China Research and Development Center, is presented with the 2012 IT Times Outstanding Leader Award on Dec 13, 2012

At the 8th Annual CEO Summit hosted by IT Times Weekly, Dr. Matt Wang, Vice President of the IBM Research Development and Research Lab in China was presented the “2012 IT Times Outstanding Leader” award.  This award is presented annually to the eight top leaders in the IT industry in China who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the global information society in the past year.

Dr. Wang was recognized for his achievements innovation and emerging technology opportunities.  In particular, he was recognized for his work in ‘Smart Logistics’ for cloud computing in spearheading the partnership with the Ningbo National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, which led to the establishment of IBM’s commercial cloud computing center in Wuxi.  Dr. Wang joined other prominent leaders from Microsoft, AMD, Deusche Telekom, Motorola, Hewlett Packard, and Dell in receipt of this prestigious award.

Founded in 2000, the IT Times Weekly is China’s largest IT business management magazine with large readership among C-Suite Executives as well as government officials and prominent business leaders.

Read the full article in original Chinese and Google Translated English

Dr. Matt Wang speaking at the IT Times Weekly CEO Summit (Credit:  IT Times Weekly)

Dr. Matt Wang speaking at the IT Times Weekly CEO Summit (Credit: IT Times Weekly)

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Around the World with The Greater IBM Connection

In this issue:

  • IBM Champion Program – Nominations Close Oct. 15
  • The Center for CIO Leadership: Meet Chief Technologist Dr. Manish Gupta
  • New LinkedIn Subgroup Launched: Greater China


IBM Champion Program – Nominations Close Oct. 15

If you’d like to be an IBM Champion or know someone you want to nominate, time is running out – you have until October 15 to nominate YOUR worthy candidate.

Here’s how it works: if you are an outstanding Lotus or WebSphere developer, or  an expert in System z or Power Systems, or if you blog, participate in online forums, etc., about these kinds of topics – in other words, if you’re an advocate of IBM’s capabilities – then you might make a great candidate to be an IBM Champion.

About the IBM Champion Program

Want to know more? Check out a Web lecture

Nomination form


The Center for CIO Leadership: Meet Chief Technologist Dr. Manish Gupta

More than 400 CIOs and other company executives recently attended IBM’s Smarter Cities event in the Capital Region of India. The CIOs worked with city planners on ways to apply technology to solve some of the worst problems in the world’s population centers.

Dr. Manish Gupta

Dr. Gupta, IBM India

To mark the event, IBM’s Center for CIO Leadership interviewed Dr. Manish Gupta, IBM’s Chief Technologist for India and Asia and Director of the research laboratory developing new technology for governments and companies around the globe.

Read the interview

Smarter Cities

Smarter Planet Blog

People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook

Smarter Planet on Twitter


New LinkedIn Subgroup Launched: Greater China

The Greater IBM Connection and IBM Greater China team are pleased to announce the launch of the Greater China LinkedIn subgroup of our community.

Internet users in China are unable to access many of the popular social networks in use today, including Facebook, Twitter, many blogs, YouTube, etc.  The new subgroup enables our community of fellow Greater IBMers to interact and network with the community in China. It also provides a place for users in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong to communicate in Chinese.

To join this subgroup, you must must first join the global Greater IBM Connection group on LinkedIn. Please make sure to provide accurate information about your IBM employment on your profile in English, so that your membership can be approved for both communities.

Read more about the new subgroup


Announcing IBM Alumni Greater China Subgroup

The Greater IBM Connection and IBM Greater China team is pleased to announce the launch of the Greater China LinkedIn subgroup for our community.  As you may know, China is not able to access many of the popular social networks today (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, etc.).  So we have launched this subgroup to establish a way that our community of fellow Greater IBMers could interact and network with the community in China, as well as provide a place where those countries (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong) could communicate in the Chinese language as well.

We have partnered with an IBM communications team in China to launch the LinkedIn subgroup, and the country leader is JinHua Qi.

To join the Greater China group sub-community:

  • You must first join the global Greater IBM Connection community here.
  • Then request to join the Greater China Alumni group here.
  • Note: You must provide accurate information about your IBM employment on your profile in English so that your membership can be approved for both groups.

感谢您有兴趣参加在LinkedIn上面的全球IBMer群“The Greater IBM Connection”的大中华区子群“Greater China”。为了成为该子群的一员,您需要首先加入全球IBMer群“ Greater IBM Connection”,地址为 –请务必以英文提供准确的个人雇员信息,以确保您的会员申请可以被两个群所通过)。

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to you joining today!


– Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

China and Brazil Alumni Research Project

Thank you for your interest in collaborating with us on this research project!  Here is a description of the project again, for reference.  To register, please fill out the form below, and we will contact you.  Thank you!

Are you a C-Suite Executive, CIO or IT manager in China or Brazil and interested in collaborating with IBM on market research?  We’re building personas and conducting in-country research on web experiences and invite you to participate in this initiative.  As a core member of our research team you will gain valuable insight and experience on what makes a compelling web experience  There are several ways you can participate:

  1. Recruit prospective client interviewees from your own company or network of peers facing similar challenges.
  2. Conduct the in-country interviews based on a prepared script we provide.
  3. Respond to the interview and provide your insights to the project.

Please fill out the form below to register and join this initiative.  We look forward to your participation!

Registration Form

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Why Return to IBM? People, Opportunity, and Professionalism, says Tech. Services Mgr. Edward Wu

by Chris Major, IBM

Edward Wu left IBM for the chance to try something different.

Along with an increase in his annual salary, he saw an exciting opportunity to move to a new industry and to experience a new corporate culture. Edward relocated from Shenzhen to Guangzhou and spent approximately one year with his new company, a major international player in the Food industry.

IBMer Edward Wu

IBMer (and Greater IBMer) Edward Wu

However, even though he was employed in a similar IT role, IT delivery was not a key focus of his new organization. He could sense subtle differences almost immediately. As time went on, these differences in service delivery became more prominent. The high level of professionalism and dedication he was used to seemed to be missing at his new company. IBM, he felt, just “did things better”. The structure and support he enjoyed at IBM were also gone, which he felt contributed to a less focused, less productive working environment. Not an ideal situation for someone ambitious in their career.

The opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally is important to almost everyone. In fact, this was the driving force behind Edward’s move to his new organization. The difference in company size, though meant that the scope he experienced at IBM to move and try new things was smaller now at his new company. He began to question what all this might mean for his personal development in the long term.

Edward’s new workmates were friendly and helpful, but he started to miss the working environment at IBM. For someone who is stimulated by new challenges and ideas, Edward felt he was missing out. Overall, he was getting paid more, but felt he was enjoying his working life less.

During his time away from IBM, Edward had remained in contact with his previous manager. He was approached by this manager when a suitable role came up at IBM and was asked whether he would consider a move back to his old company. Edward agreed, driven by a desire to further his career and start learning again from people he considers to be the “best at what they do”. He soon joined IBM in a similar role to the one he had before he left, and within 9 months had progressed to a managerial role in IT security. Now over a year back at IBM, Edward still cites these same reasons for coming back – People, Opportunity and Professionalism.

OLYMPICS: What did you take away?


We have Baron Pierre de Coubertin to thank for bringing back the ideals of Olympic Charter…

"…Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example, and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles."

What will you take away from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games?  The spectacular opening or ending? Inspiration from the many powerful stories of individuals reaching inside themselves to discover their personal best?  The near magical idea of seeing all the countries come together?

For me these Olympic Games ended up having a special meaning. Earlier this year at a dialogue we held on International Women’s Day at the Global Dialogue Center, I met a young Masters Student. In English, her name is "Shiny." She lives in Shanghai and is studying in Munich. She returned home to China for the summer to be with her family. In a message she wrote to me as the Games were unfolding, she offered new meaning about what Olympic GOLD is when it comes to friendship and what we can take away from the games and apply to our lives. Her words also seemed to relate to the community and relationships we are building at Great IBM Connnection. Shiny wrote:

"Somehow we are doing the same thing in a different way, to know each other, to listen, to share, to grow and pass the torch of knowledge throughout nations. Let us enjoy the Olympics and pass on the friendship and peace with our hearts and souls!"

I see now that with all its joys, tragic disappointments, new levels of excellence, and even a few imperfections, for a couple of weeks, we’ve had an opportunity to come together, to witness the best of what the human spirit can produce.

What did you take away?

Dk_at_desk_3debbe Debbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection
Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies
author, Putting Our Differences to Work
IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco

Greater IBMers on a new kind of frontier in Emerging Markets

Thanks to The Greater IBM Connection, I’ve had the opportunity to "meet" some pretty terrific people in the past several months. Two Greater IBMers that will stand out are Barbara and Oma Sewhdat. You can find their story at . They came out of retirement to spend a year in rural China, teaching mainframe skills to a new generation of young Chinese.

To do that, they left the comfort of home, friends and family. They arrived in Shanghai, knowing only a handful tourist-book level Chinese words – and compensated by using gestures to communicate. They are the pioneers for Reach Out!, an IBM program to enlist retired IBMers for fixed-term jobs in emerging markets. You can learn more about this exciting new program at

Barbara and Oma now live in a village with few amenities and their life is largely circumscribed by the campus where they live and teach.  There have been adventures with phones, hot water and basic transportation. It’s not always been easy.

So why do they love it? They are making a difference in the lives of young people. Barbara and Oma know they are being changed, too. They like the change – and the memories that will last a lifetime.

I asked Oma whether he would recommend the program to others. His response was immediate: "Anyone who has the opportunity to do this, should seize it."

One of the exciting things, for me, in what Barbara and Oma are doing is that they are like a lot of other IBMers I’ve known through the years. People willing to put themselves on the line for something meaningful, something they believe in.

Who are some of those others? Do you have an experience to share? Please tell us.

Use the comment tool to tell us about Greater IBMers you know, or have known, who are putting their skills and knowledge to work making things better for others.

Comment now, before other demands distract you.

The story you share just may inspire someone who’s looking for ideas in their own lifeLarry_solo_mar08.

I’m Larry Phipps, a Greater IBMer and editor, The Greater IBM Connection