In a show of solidarity with the LGBT community, IBM has unveiled a new logo that incorporates the rainbow Pride flag. The symbol will be featured prominently at Pride events and programs focused on diversity.
Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, IBM’s Chief Diversity Officer, says the symbol “will represent IBM’s ongoing push for diversity, acceptance, inclusion and equal opportunity.”
“The rainbow is recognized worldwide as the symbol of LGBT equality and we are proud to fuse it with the emblem that has represented our company for more than four decades.”
IBM received a perfect 100 score on HRC’s Corporate Responsibility Index and was named the most gay-friendly employer in the world, by Workplace Pride Foundation.
The tech giant was among the first companies to include sexual orientation in its equal opportunity policies, and extended domestic-partner benefits to gay employees nearly 20 years ago.
This year, IBM announced it would offer same-sex-partner benefits in places like Japan, where marriage equality is not yet legal.
IBM’s current “8-bar” logo was introduced in 1972—the rainbow flag, created by artist Gilbert Baker, debuted some years later, in 1978.
“For nearly its entire history, IBM has been a progressive leader in diversity, advocacy and innovation,” McIntyre said in a statement. “We proudly pay tribute to Baker’s original vision in the adaptation of our corporate logo as a way to demonstrate our solidarity, support and continued commitment to the rights of the LGBT community.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, homophobic trolls responded negatively to the news—a number were former or current IBM employees.
“I am so pissed, I had to revisit this abortion to the logo of the family-oriented company I’ve been so proud to have retired from,” wrote one ex-staffer on Facebook. “I can only “Think” that the one worst thing that could happen is, in Obama’s last days, he’ll change our Stars and Stripes from red, white & blue to a f*cking rainbow, like he did at the White House.”
There were those who appreciated the effort: “So proud to have spent my entire corporate life at IBM!” wrote one woman.
In November, former IBM senior content strategist Elizabeth Wood publicly quit over CEO Ginni Rometty sending a “congratulations” letter to President-elect Donald Trump.
In an open letter Wood claimed that Rometty’s letter “offered the backing of IBM’s global workforce” toward Trump’s agenda.
“The president-elect has demonstrated contempt for immigrants, veterans, people with disabilities, black, Latinx, Jewish, Muslim and LGBTQ communities,” she declared. “These groups comprise a growing portion of the company you lead.”
Ironically, the new “Pride IBM” logo bears a strikingly resemblance to the original 1970s logo of the company’s main competitor, Apple.