IBM's Nigel Prentice and Jessica Tremblay speak to the creation of IBM's Racial Equity in Design initiative, the impact of the work both inside and outside of IBM in the design industry, and discuss challenges overcome along the way in order to create equitable, long-term change for Black designers by designing a new culture inside IBM. They’ll speak to how their team overshot IBM’s hiring goal on hiring diverse talent, and they’ll discuss tactics other companies can adopt to ensure they are hiring diverse teams.
Nigel Prentice - IBM
Nigel has been a leader in software, technical transformation, and design since he founded one of Austin’s first digital product consultancies in 1996. Since then, he has worked with local startups, government institutions, and enterprise organizations to lead various technology and design efforts across dozens of industries at every scale. Prior to IBM, he was the Austin studio leader for Adaptive Path, one of the original user experience design consultancies.
Nigel joined IBM in 2014 and since then has held a number of leadership and executive roles, driving the adoption of design and design thinking, while using those tools to achieve prioritized business outcomes. Currently, Nigel is the design executive for the global Ecosystem Platform & Experiences team, where he drives the creation of holistic partner experiences in IBM’s multi-billion dollar go-to-market.
In addition, Nigel leads IBM’s Racial Equity in Design initiative. While investing IBM’s considerable resources at the scale of the enterprise, this work contemplates the redesign of culture using the power of deep empathy combined with user experience design. Through Nigel’s leadership, the company is implementing long-term transformation around closing the racial equity gap in the profession of design while improving the career experiences for Black designers inside IBM and beyond.
Jessica Tremblaym - IBM
Jessica is a designer and community leader dedicated to IBM’s Racial Equity in Design Initiative. As the program manager, Jessica’s role is to ensure programs and work streams are successful with delivering on their goals to make long-term, equitable change for designers of color.
Jessica joined IBM as a visual designer and front-end developer, and has taken on many roles since 2014. She organized IBM’s first FED@IBM community dedicated to front-end developers with members across the globe, and is also the lead for IBM’s 100+ Enterprise Design Thinking global chapter network.
Outside of IBM, Jessica dedicates her time to educating and encouraging women to be a part of design and tech initiatives. She speaks and leads workshops with organizations such as Future Front Texas, Women Who Code, and Girls Who Code with hopes that other women will pursue leadership opportunities in tech.