With Black History Month underway, the issues of race and equality remain at the forefront of the national conversation. Discrimination and inequality continues to affect a variety of areas including healthcare, education, housing and wellness. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the Black community due to legal, social, and economic inequities. The intergenerational trauma and systemic racism that Black Americans have faced over the last 400 years have fomented conditions that lead to vulnerability, toxic stress and anxiety. The economic downturn and staggering job losses due to the pandemic have resulted in lost health insurance, financial instability and loss of housing that has significantly affected Black women. Health inequity within the Black community affects other areas such as skills, professional development and wellness.
Dr. Lydia Campbell, IBM’s Chief Medical Officer understands the challenges facing employees – including the specific challenges of Black employees, female employees, and other underrepresented communities around the world – and she sees the current climate as an opportunity for companies to step up and support their workforces in new ways. Given these challenges, many companies, including IBM, are taking a stance and implementing meaningful changes to address the hardships specific to the Black community and are actively investing in ways to create more equitable and inclusive environments, from recruiting and retention, to awareness, and mentorship.
As part of the continuing Emb(race) campaign, IBM’s social justice actions under their Diversity & Inclusion strategy, IBM is making an investment in access and opportunity in support of the Black community. We are committed to longer term, sustained actions around social justice with measurable outcomes that will drastically change our company and society moving forward.