IBM

Red Hat Software, Aspera
New York
Cloud & Data Storage, Software and Services, Technology Hardware and Equipment

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) vets vendors according to LGBTQ policies and does not provide its employees with protections against viewpoint discrimination, but has not publicly terminated business relationships based on views or beliefs. The company covers the cost of "medically necessary transition-related care" for its employees and their children. The company matches donations to Planned Parenthood and is a corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). IBM funds the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and regularly uses its brand to back ideological policies. The company is a signatory of the Business Roundtable's 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism. For these reasons, IBM receives a "High Risk" rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

IBM has not publicly¬†terminated business relationships due to religious beliefs or political views.¬†The company received a score of 100 on the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. Among other requirements, this means IBM has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (1). IBM subsidiary Red Hat Software has received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index (2).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

IBM does not discriminate against religious organizations in its charitable giving (1)(2).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

IBM does not protect its employees from viewpoint discrimination (1).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

IBM has a perfect score on the HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. This score indicates the company covers the cost of “medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children (1)(2). The company affirms gender transitions for those who wish to do so (3). IBM has also used its corporate image to express support for the Equality Act and opposition to state-led voter and election security initiatives (4)(5)(6). IBM has also been an open supporter of legislation involving police and immigration reform for DREAMERS (7). The company signed an open letter opposing a Florida bill that would prevent teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade (8). IBM is also a partner of OneTen, prioritizing race in its hiring practices (9). CEO Arvind Krishna is a member of the Business Roundtable and Former CEO Ginni Rometty signed its 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism over traditional obligations to shareholders and customers (10)(11). Red Hat Software has also expressed support for the Equality Act (12).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

IBM is a bronze partner of the HRC and has given more than $1 million to GLAAD (1)(2). IBM also enables charitable gift-matching donations to Planned Parenthood (3). IBM is a Bronze sponsor of Out and Equal and a founding corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (4)(5). IBM used to fund only minorities through portions of its scholarship program but backtracked following conservative reports on the issue (6).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

IBM does not utilize PAC donations (1)(2). IBM did use corporate funds to lobby in favor of the Equality Act and other ideological causes (3)(4).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
November 29, 2023

Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer

Voting History

Date
ESG Category
Proponent
Summary of ResolutionMgmt RecTotal Vote % in Favor
4/25/23GovernanceJohn CheveddenPublic Report on Lobbying ActivitiesAgainst48.10%
4/25/23SocialJay Stanley Weisfeld TrustReport on Harassment and Discrimination PreventionAgainst33.10%
4/25/23GovernanceKenneth SteinerIndependent Board ChairmanAgainst25.90%
4/25/23SocialNational Center for Public Policy ResearchReport on Operations in China and ESG ActivitiesAgainst7.10%
4/26/22SocialJay Stanley Weisfeld TrustPublic Report on the Use of Concealment ClausesAgainst64.70%
4/26/22GovernanceKenneth SteinerRequire Independent Board ChairAgainst39.80%
4/26/22GovernanceJohn CheveddenSpecial Meetings - Reduce Ownership Req. to 10%Against35.50%
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