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The IBM’s Diversity “Trade Secrets”

IBM is iconic and it used to be first in many areas. It seems it has industry-leading trade secrets on building diverse workforce. Yes, the creator of Watson is suing a former HR executive which allegedly left with diversity “trade secrets” which have made it possible for IBM to build a more diverse team. The ex-staff, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, is joining Microsoft, and IBM wants to stop that. She can possibly use the secrets to improve Microsoft diversity numbers.

IBM accuses Lindsay-Rae McIntyre of violating a non-compete agreement when she accepted a job with the software giant [Microsoft], according to a suit filed in US federal court Feb. 12. The suit contends that McIntyre, a 20-year IBM employee, has in-depth knowledge of IBM’s “diversity data, strategies and initiatives,” and she violated a non-compete agreement by taking “trade secrets” with her when she accepted an identical assignment with Microsoft.

They would settle and the lady would go and work for Microsoft. But wait: this is progress. If these companies have started seeing diversity as strength to the extent of protecting diversity “trade secrets, it means things would change for better. Simply, diversity improves competitiveness, and that is why IBM feels it is important to protect it from a rival.

Let them save the legal fees, and use the savings to provide scholarships to women and people of color. Doing that would improve the pool of candidates. I think that would be a better fight.

Does this one qualify as poaching? In any case, since diversity is now 'golden', all that is required is to give women and people of colour the necessary education and tools; there are millions of people who are ready to step up.

It's a beautiful problem to have, no need to go to court or fight, let them open the doors, people are eagerly waiting for the opportunity.