IBM Corporation: Targeting the LGBT Segment

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG217
Case Length : 26 Pages
Period : 1997-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : IBM Corporation
Industry : Computers, IT and ITeS
Countries : USA

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Introduction Contd...

In addition to fulfilling the criteria, the companies also had to receive a 100 percent rating on Human Rights Campaign's5 (HRC), Corporate Equality Index6 (CEI) to figure on the list (Refer to Exhibit II for CEI ratings of Fortune 500 companies in 2009). IBM was recognized for its efforts toward employing LGBT people and providing equal workplace benefits to the LGBT. The company's target marketing strategies directed toward the LGBT community also caught the attention of the analysts.

The history of diversity at IBM dates back to 1899 when it employed the first black employee and the first three women employees.

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It extended its diversity initiatives by employing the first employee with disability in 1914. In 1984, IBM became the first major company to add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy. Since then, IBM had been focusing on recruiting LGBT employees in its workforce...

Excerpts >>

5] Founded in 1980, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest civil rights organization of the LGBT community. The HRC envisions providing the LGBT US citizens with fundamental equal rights and an open and safe community and working environment (Source:
6] The Corporate Equality Index, a report published by the HRC annually, rates US businesses on their behavior with the LGBT consumers, employees, and investors. The criteria for rating includes protecting employees against being discriminated against based on sexual orientation and corporate policies on inclusion, diversity, healthcare, training, and domestic partner benefits (Source:

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